The unsuccessful GOP presidential nomination campaign for DeSantis cost $168 million.

Late Wednesday, papers were presented to the Federal Election Commission indicating that the unsuccessful campaign and extensive political operation attempting to nominate Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, for the Republican nomination for president cost $168 million.

In 2023, a relatively new super PAC called Fight Right reported receiving $9.6 million from mid-November to December, while the pro-DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down recorded donations of almost $130.6 million. Between May and December, his personal campaign spent $28.3 million.

Since the United States Supreme Court's 2010 decision legalized super PACs, DeSantis has depended on outside groups' assistance more than any other prominent contender. 

While super PACs are able to solicit an endless supply of funds from contributors, including corporations, to support or oppose politicians, it is illegal for candidates or their official campaigns to work in direct coordination with these groups.

Following a humiliating 30 point loss in the Iowa caucuses to former President Donald Trump, DeSantis abruptly halted his candidacy last month. 

 With a reputation for tackling conservative issues like abortion and the teaching of gender and race in schools, as well as a high-profile governor who had collected over $130 million with his friends, he had great hopes for his campaign.

Financial constraints, personnel changes, and a shaky campaign debut on Twitter Spaces all contributed to his primary campaign's rocky start. Concerns that DeSantis might muddy the waters of campaign law were also voiced. The campaign and the super PAC supporting him were said to have coordinated and communicated in a complaint submitted with the Federal Election Commission by an apolitical government monitoring group. 

Much of the preparatory work for DeSantis was carried out by Never Back Down. A committee supporting his successful gubernatorial reelection in 2022 contributed almost $80 million to it. Meanwhile, DeSantis's Florida friends launched Fight Right for TV advertising. It spent money on advertising that attacked Trump's opponent, Nikki Haley, a former governor of South Carolina.