The billionaire DeVos family, known for their involvement in education policy and their ties to former president Donald Trump, has emerged as supporters of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ahead of the 2024 Republican presidential race. This unexpected move has raised eyebrows and created speculation about the family’s intentions. With a longstanding alliance between the DeVos family and DeSantis focused on conservative education policies, their support for the governor sheds light on his controversial positions and his commitment to reshape Florida’s public education system. In this article, we delve deeper into the DeVos-DeSantis alliance and the possible implications it may have in the upcoming presidential contest.
In June, the pro-DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down received a $50,000 donation from the NBA franchise the Orlando Magic, which is owned by the DeVos family. While the Magic’s spokesman initially declined to comment on the donation, he later clarified that it was in support of DeSantis as governor rather than his presidential campaign. This contribution has garnered attention within Trump’s circle, with some questioning the Magic’s decision to support DeSantis. Jason Miller, a Trump senior advisor, criticized the donation on social media, highlighting DeSantis’ new Florida history curriculum. However, it is important to note that the curriculum aligns with the DeVos family’s long-standing support for conservative education policies, which prioritize private school education and school choice.
The DeVos family, particularly Betsy and Dick DeVos, has a history of funding candidates and groups that advocate for increased funding for private school education and school choice. This commitment to advancing conservative education policies is evident in their financial support for DeSantis as he seeks to eliminate what he refers to as “wokeness” from Florida’s public education system. While Betsy DeVos faced pushback as Trump’s Education Secretary for her efforts to cut federal spending on education, her support for DeSantis suggests that the family may be distancing themselves from Trump and throwing their weight behind the Florida governor.
The DeVos-DeSantis alliance extends beyond campaign donations and financial support. In a virtual town hall event in April 2022, Betsy DeVos praised DeSantis for his efforts in expanding and improving Florida’s education system. DeSantis, known for his emphasis on empowering families and combating what he perceives as liberal indoctrination in schools, expressed his commitment to prohibiting ideologies such as critical race theory from being taught in classrooms. These shared beliefs on education policy have cemented the bond between the DeVos family and DeSantis, positioning them as allies in the fight against progressive teaching methods.
The DeVos family’s backing of DeSantis raises questions about their future support for Trump in the 2024 presidential race. As of now, no members of the family have contributed to Trump’s primary campaign this year, suggesting a potential shift in their allegiances. It is important to note that Trump still maintains a significant lead in the primary polls, outperforming DeSantis by double digits. However, the DeVos family’s support for DeSantis reflects their alignment on key education policies, indicating a divergence from Trump’s approach. As the presidential race unfolds, it will be intriguing to see how this alliance influences the dynamics within the Republican Party.
The DeVos family’s financial support for Ron DeSantis and their shared vision for conservative education policies shed light on the governor’s controversial positions and his commitment to transforming Florida’s public education system. Their long-standing alliance, coupled with the recent campaign contribution from the DeVos-owned Orlando Magic, demonstrates their unwavering support for DeSantis. While the family’s backing of DeSantis may indicate a shift away from Trump, it remains to be seen how this will impact the 2024 Republican presidential race. As the political landscape continues to evolve, the DeVos-DeSantis alliance promises to play a significant role in shaping the future of the Republican Party and its stance on education policy.