Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis raised $8.2 million in his first 24 hours as a presidential candidate, his campaign said Thursday, a huge sum that cements his standing as the main Republican challenger to Donald J. Trump.
Mr. DeSantis’ campaign got off to a glitchy start on Wednesday night on Twitter, but that apparently didn’t slow donors’ enthusiasm. On Wednesday, the campaign said it raised $1 million in one hour.
The $8.2 million figure is more than the $6.3 million Joseph R. Biden Jr. raised in his first 24 hours as a candidate in 2019, or the $6.1 million raised by former Representative Beto O’Rourke that same year.
The recall would immediately inject his campaign with funds to fund a growing political operation and an aggressive travel schedule that would take the governor to 12 cities across three states next week.
The amount is double the $4 million Trump campaign said it raised within 24 hours after his criminal indictment earlier this year, though most of that money was raised organically online.
DeSantis’ amount includes both online donations and donations secured by collectors who gathered Thursday at the Grand Ballroom at the Four Seasons in Miami for what was called the Ron-O-Rama call to raise money for the campaign.
Brian Griffin, a spokesman for DeSantis, said the campaign is raising both primary and public funds for the election. The campaign can raise $3,300 per donor in both the primary and general elections. He declined to disclose how the money would be set aside to be used solely in the general election, should Mr. DeSantis become the nominee.
A donor who made room calls first revealed that the campaign raised $8.2 million, and Mr. Griffin confirmed the figure. All funds are called hard dollars that the campaign can use.
The amount does not include any of the money the Never Back Down pro-DeSantis Super PAC has raised in recent months into a DeSantis draft account that can be transferred directly to the campaign, according to Mr. Griffin. It is unclear how much money is in this account.
It was not immediately clear how many donors contributed in the first 24 hours.
At the Four Seasons Hotel in Miami, Lou Barletta, a former congressman from Pennsylvania and a former Trump ally, said he spent seven and a half hours calling contacts to donate to Mr. DeSantis’ campaign, only to break to use the bathroom and get a buffet lunch.
“There was a lot of enthusiasm in that room,” Mr. Barletta said. “I’ve had very few people say no to me on those calls.”
Mr. DeSantis himself helped make calls for parts of the day, according to several donors in attendance, and on Thursday night he and his wife, Casey, were scheduled to meet with donors in what was described as a “private ceremony.”
The super PAC backing Mr. DeSantis is planning a $200 million budget, but campaign funds are very difficult to raise because they face a strict donation cap.
The $8.2 million brought in by Mr. DeSantis far exceeds the way Mr. Trump began raising money for 2024 in late 2022. Mr. Trump had raised about $9.5 million in the six weeks after announcing his campaign in mid-November.
Nicholas Nehamas Contribute to the preparation of reports.