DeSantis unveils campaign ‘leadership team’ for Washington

By: - October 4, 2023 2:47 pm

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida named the Washington State Leadership Team for his presidential campaign this week. Here, he is speaking to voters in Iowa earlier this year. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A slew of Republican leaders are signing on to steer Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign in Washington, including a major fundraiser for former president Donald Trump.

State Sen. Phil Fortunato of Auburn, state Rep. Chris Corry of Yakima, and King County Council member Reagan Dunn of Covington are among 16 people on a Washington State Leadership Team the DeSantis campaign announced Tuesday.

Also on the list are Susan Hutchison, former chair of the state Republican Party and a 2018 candidate for U.S. Senate, and Hossein Khorram, who helped raise millions of dollars in Washington for Trump in the last two presidential elections.

DeSantis, a distant second to Trump in national polling, is the first GOP hopeful to name a slate of higher profile supporters in Washington. 

The announcement is likely a precursor to his establishing a campaign operation ahead of the presidential primary, which is March 12 in Washington.

Meanwhile, among presidential candidates, Trump is the top money-raiser in the state with $645,981 in contributions through June 30, 2023, according to data posted on the Federal Election Commission website.

President Joe Biden, a Democrat, is next with $477,993, followed by Republican Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, with $206,084, and DeSantis with $102,470.

In 2020, presidential candidates collectively raised $57.6 million from Washington residents, topped by Biden with $30.1 million and Trump with $11.5 million.

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Jerry Cornfield
Jerry Cornfield

Jerry Cornfield joined the Standard after 20 years covering Olympia statehouse news for The Everett Herald. Earlier in his career, he worked for daily and weekly papers in Santa Barbara, California.