Massively wealthy Illinois man gives huge check to DeSantis campaign

Kenneth C. Griffin

Republican candidate for governor Ron DeSantis got a hefty check this month from one of the world’s richest men.

Kenneth C. Griffin of Illinois donated $5 million to DeSantis on October 3. Griffin, who founded a Chicago-based hedge fund called Citadel, is listed by Forbes as the 45th wealthiest person in America, with a net worth of $10 billion. He grew up in Daytona Beach and attended Harvard.

The $5 million contribution for DeSantis comes after two other big checks – campaign finance records show that Griffin sent $500,000 to the Friends of Ron DeSantis Political Action Committee in May and another $250,000 in June.

Griffin is known for setting records when he buys property, including spending $230 million on a 12-acre-plus tract in Palm Beach near President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. (He started building a massive oceanfront mansion there but later pulled the plug on it).

Griffin also bought the most expensive home in Chicago, bought the priciest home in Miami (a $60 million penthouse at the Faena House luxury condominium) and a $200 million home overlooking Central Park in New York City that in 2015 was the most expensive single residential real estate deal in U.S. history. An art collector, he paid a whopping $500 million for two paintings in 2016; one ($300 million) by Willem de Kooning  and another ($200 million) by Jasper Johns.

Julie Hauserman
Julie Hauserman has been writing about Florida for more than 30 years. She is a former Capitol bureau reporter for the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times, and reported for The Stuart News and the Tallahassee Democrat. She was a national commentator for National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition Sunday and The Splendid Table . She has won many awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work is featured in several Florida anthologies, including The Wild Heart of Florida , The Book of the Everglades , and Between Two Rivers . Her new book is Drawn to The Deep, a University Press of Florida biography of Florida cave diver and National Geographic explorer Wes Skiles.

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