Why Attorney General Sean Reyes is helping Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis raise money in Utah

The Florida governor is a potential rival to former President Donald Trump for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is applauded after taking the stage to address The American Legislative Exchange Council annual meeting July 28, 2021 at The Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City. DeSantis is scheduled to be in Utah on Wednesday for a pair of high-dollar fundraising events.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is scheduled to travel to Utah on Wednesday for a series of high-dollar fundraising events. Attendees will pay $5,000 or more to rub elbows with the potential 2024 Republican presidential candidate while he is in the Beehive State.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes is among a handful of business leaders and Utah Republicans hosting a pair of fundraisers for DeSantis on Wednesday. Other high-profile Utahns listed as hosts for the fundraisers include Clearlink founder James Clarke, property developer Scott Keller, Nomi Health founder Mark Newman and Neutraceutical founder Bruce Hough, according to invitations obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune.

The events include a breakfast in Salt Lake City and a lunch reception in Park City. Attendees at the breakfast are forking over $500 per person or $2,500 for a photo with DeSantis. Tickets to the lunch event are $5,000 each.

The campaign is closely holding details about DeSantis’ trip to Utah. Attendees to Wednesday’s events were not given information on the location until they responded to the invitation.

Reyes’ role in boosting DeSantis might raise a few eyebrows among some Republicans, given the attorney general’s fervent support for former President Donald Trump. DeSantis is a possible rival to Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. This week’s fundraising trip to Utah is a possible first step in a potential DeSantis White House bid.

Reyes was a surrogate on the campaign trail for Trump during the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections and co-chaired Trump’s 2020 re-election bid in Utah. He recently grabbed a coveted speaking slot at Trump’s May rally in Casper, Wyoming. Trump is reportedly urging Reyes to challenge Sen. Mitt Romney for the GOP nomination in 2024.

Despite the perceived political tension between DeSantis and Trump, Reyes’ participation is not a conflict, says Alan Crooks, Reyes’ longtime political consultant.

“These are uniquely different camps. DeSantis is focused on his reelection campaign for governor in Florida right now,” Crooks said.

A recent poll out of Michigan shows the Florida governor only three points behind Trump among likely Republican voters, 45-42%. However, in national surveys, Trump still leads DeSantis by double digits.

DeSantis visited Utah last summer to speak at the American Legislative Exchange Council’s annual meeting.

Attempts to contact the DeSantis campaign were unsuccessful.