Presidential candidates are gaining a great deal of personal wealth and attention from their campaign efforts.
- A recently announced filing shows that Florida Governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis’s net worth has increased from $319,000 to $1.2 million in the past year.
- A significant portion of that wealth came from his bestselling campaign book The Courage To Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint For America’s Revival, which was released in February and sold more than 169,000 copies, Forbes reports.
- Former Vice President MikePence—also a declared candidate—has used his time since leaving the vice presidency accumulating personal wealth, grossing $4.8 million in speaking and consulting in 2022, Forbes reports.
- He also received a $1.4 million advance for his memoir So Help Me God and receives a $381,000 salary from Hoosier Heartland.
Why It’s Important
Many presidential candidates run because they ultimately believe they have a shot at winning the nomination, but that does not mean that the attention it brings is not personally enriching. Both DeSantis and Pence were relatively middle-class civilians prior to their national-level political careers, with net worths below $1 million each, and they’ve both seen their valuations skyrocket from speeches and book sales.
Candidates have gained more from their candidacies than just financial benefits. The race has turned several relatively unknown business leaders and political figures into national-level names.
Vivek Ramaswamy was the relatively unknown author of Woke Inc: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam before he announced his candidacy earlier this year. Democratic primary challenger Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was also relatively unknown, mostly regarded as an activist and descendant of the Kennedy family, garnering more than 1.8 million Twitter followers.
Backing Up A Bit
The 2024 Presidential debate stages are going to be crowded later this year, as 12 Republicans and three Democrats have already announced their candidacies for office. President Joe Biden holds that incumbent advantage against his primary challengers, Marianne Williamson and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., but the Republican ticket has more opportunities.
Former President Donald Trump (52%) currently holds the clearest lead, followed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (23.3%), former Vice President Mike Pence (6.5%), and the remaining candidates polling below 3.9%, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Lesser known Republican and Democratic candidates could still see significant boosts to name recognition as a result of their candidacies.