A South Carolina fundraiser who previously worked for Donald Trump has joined a super PAC boosting Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Bill Stern, a real estate developer in the Palmetto State, joined Never Back Down, a group drafting DeSantis to run for President, as a Senior Advisor. Stern in 2020 served as state finance chair for then-President Trump’s presidential campaign.
In a statement first reported by Yahoo News reporter Tom LoBianco, Stern said DeSantis’ successes in Florida show he has the skills to be President.
“A movement is growing fueled by Americans who see Florida’s success and want to see Gov. Ron DeSantis’ fearless leadership in the White House,” Stern said.
He alluded both to DeSantis’ anti-lockdown stances in the COVID-19 pandemic and recent fights against progressive companies like Disney.
“These men and women stood up for their children’s education, their businesses and their freedoms when the government and woke corporations tried to silence them. For too long, Republicans have been fine losing elections out of fear of retribution, and enough is enough,” Stern said.
“If we want to win in 2024, we need Gov. DeSantis to run for President, and that is why I am not only enthusiastically endorsing him but also joining the Never Back Down movement.”
While a calendar is still not locked in for the 2024 cycle, South Carolina is expected to hold the third Primary for the Republican nomination for President. A vote is scheduled at the moment for Jan. 27, which is 19 days after the Iowa caucuses and 11 days after a Primary in New Hampshire.
That makes South Carolina a major prize in the fight for the GOP nomination. A Winthrop University poll released this week shows DeSantis trailing Trump in the state by 21 percentage points.
Stern’s support, though, could prove valuable for his connections in the state with Republican leaders and with major donors. He for a period chaired the South Carolina Ports Authority Board.
Stern not only backed Trump in 2016 and 2020 but chaired Trump’s Southeastern Business Coalition. He also appointed Stern to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.