Gov. DeSantis holds fundraiser in Sacramento for 2024 presidential campaign

Author: Andrew Haubner / CBS Sacramento
Published: Updated:
Gov. Ron DeSantis campaigns in California for 2024. Credit: CBS

Gov. Ron DeSantis held court in Sacramento on Monday, cajoling Republican donors and some members of the California Legislature.

“When he dismissed some of the concerns I had beforehand of being low-energy and not personally engaging, there couldn’t have been a greater contrast than what I saw today,” said Tom Lackey, Assemblyman for California’s 34th District. “I have interest in this race, and he won me over. I’m definitely endorsing him.”

DeSantis spent Monday morning at the Del Paso Country Club in an event hosted by real estate developer Steve Eggert and his wife. Cameras didn’t catch the Florida governor leaving the premises. His motorcade left via a service entrance, and he did not speak to the press after the event.

Attendees say that DeSantis never mentioned California Gov. Gavin Newsom or his state flying migrants to the Sacramento region earlier this month. Instead, the breakfast was about meeting with those who maybe didn’t know much about him prior to this event.

“I’ve been to a lot of political gatherings, and this one was very optimistic,” Lackey said. “More optimistic than I ever imagined it would be.”

DeSantis and Newsom have been in the news for trading barbs back and forth from social media to television interviews. Those within the California GOP assert the bitterness is one-sided.

“He didn’t mention that particular issue, and he didn’t mention the governor’s name,” Lackey said of the breakfast. “I don’t think that’s what really occupies his mind. I think those are issues that maybe interest the press.”

“I think Gov. Newsom really wants to live rent-free in Gov. DeSantis’ head and that is not the case,” Jessica Millan Patterson, California Republican Party chair, explained.

Both agree that the race for the Republican nomination, with former President Trump still leading DeSantis in California polls, will be an important one.

“I think right now as Republicans we have an embarrassment of riches,” said Milan Patterson. “That is exciting for us in California because we are an early state, a delegate-rich state. This is exciting for us in California.”

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