Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s largest donor is also giving millions to former President Donald Trump’s campaign.
One of the largest donors backing former President Donald Trump is also the biggest financier of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s independent run.
On Jan. 31, the two funds supporting Mr. Kennedy’s White House ambitions reported their fundraising activities for 2023 with the Federal Elections Commission.
Mr. Kennedy’s main fundraising bodies, Team Kennedy, his principal campaign committee, and American Values 2024, a hybrid political action committee supporting his campaign, brought in about $50.4 million in 2023. The pair spent about $30.6 million. They had about $20.3 million in cash on hand at the end of the year.
A hybrid PAC can solicit and accept unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations, labor unions, and other political committees, according to the FEC. It must maintain two bank accounts—one for independent spending on advertisements or voter drives and another for making direct contributions to federal candidates.
In 2024, Mr. Kennedy is hoping to put together the most significant third-party run in decades. His campaign is working to get the candidate on the ballot in all 50 states.
Mr. Kennedy’s most prominent individual supporter is also a significant donor to President Trump.
Between July and October 2023, Timothy Mellon gave more than $10 million to American Values 2024. That brought his total annual contribution up to about $15 million, or more than half of the money the PAC took in during the year.
Mr. Mellon also gave $10 million to Make America Great Again Inc., the super PAC backing President Trump, between July and August 2023.
Mr. Mellon is a prominent Republican donor who’s regularly made multimillion-dollar contributions to GOP groups like the Congressional Leadership Fund and the Senate Leadership Fund, according to donor records maintained by OpenSecrets.
Ahead of the 2020 election, he contributed $20 million to America First Action, a super PAC opposing President Biden. In 2023, Mr. Mellon donated another $5 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund and gave $2 million to Fair Courts America. That group, according to its website, opposes “progressive activists” in the judiciary.
Gavin de Becker
Mr. Kennedy’s second-largest donor is also making a considerable amount of money as the head of his private security detail.
In October 2023, Gavin de Becker donated $5.5 million to American Values 2024. That brought his total contribution to the PAC in 2023 to $10 million. Mr. de Becker’s support accounts for 35 percent of the PAC’s annual fundraising.
Mr. de Becker is the head of the private security firm Gavin de Becker & Associates.
According to financial records, Team Kennedy paid more than $1.4 million to the company for security services in 2023. American Values paid out $9.65 million to Mr. de Becker in transactions that were described as refunds or partial refunds in FEC filings.
Mr. de Becker is not a significant political donor, according to Open Secrets donor records, but he has given small amounts to Democratic and Republican party candidates in the past. The contributions to the Kennedy campaign are the largest of his career.
The final $1 million or more donor is Leila Centner of Miami Beach, Florida. Ms. Centner, who reported to the FEC as not employed, is the co-founder of the Miami-based private school Centner Academy. The school’s website lists her as its CEO.
Ms. Centner gave $1 million to American Values 2024 in July.
According to Open Secrets donor records, Ms. Centner is a Republican party donor and has given gifts of more than $100,000 to the Republican National Committee. Her largest gift went to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s reelection campaign in 2022. She gave to President Trump in 2020 as well.
She is married to David Centner. Mr. Centner, who co-founded the academy with his wife, is described as a “successful inventor, serial entrepreneur, tech visionary, and philanthropist” on Centner Academy’s website. He has founded and sold various tech companies.
Like his wife, Mr. Centner is a regular supporter of Republican candidates. According to Open Secrets donor records, he’s given gifts of $100,000 to the RNC and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. He’s also backed Mr. DeSantis and President Trump in the past.
Representatives of Ms. Centner did not immediately respond to a request for comment.