Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida raised $20 million in the first six weeks of his presidential run, his campaign said Thursday, a substantial sum that solidifies his place as the leading rival to former President Donald J. Trump.
While the number falls short of the $35 million that Mr. Trump’s campaign said the former president raised in the three months ending June 30, Mr. DeSantis had only half the time to bring in campaign funds after officially entering the race in mid-May.
In addition to the $20 million the DeSantis campaign said it had raised, a super PAC backing Mr. DeSantis, Never Back Down, said Thursday that it had collected $130 million since March. But nearly two-thirds of that sum was transferred to the group from a state committee that had supported Mr. DeSantis’s re-election bid last year.
The totals supplied by the campaigns — more detailed numbers don’t have to be filed with the Federal Election Commission until July 15 — provide the first glimpse into the fund-raising battle between the leading candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, a race that could set records for spending.
The $20 million raised by Mr. DeSantis includes $8.2 million that his campaign said it had taken in on its first full day of fund-raising in late May, suggesting that the pace of its fund-raising tapered off significantly thereafter.
Excluding the transfer from Mr. DeSantis’s state committee, the latest numbers also show that Never Back Down raised more money in its first three weeks than it did over roughly the last three months.
The fund-raising slowdown comes after a bumpy campaign rollout that has brought about questions from donors and supporters about its direction.
But Kristin Davison, chief operating officer of Never Back Down, said that the money raised “shows an unparalleled, unprecedented and massively successful fund-raising operation no other candidate in this race has.”
Mr. Trump has raised most of his campaign’s cash through his leadership PAC, Save America. In recent months, The New York Times reported, Mr. Trump has diverted a greater portion of donations he receives to the PAC, which he has used to pay his personal legal fees.
Mr. Trump’s campaign said on Wednesday that it had raised a total of $35 million between April and June — nearly double what the committee had raised in the first quarter of the year, reflecting hefty fund-raising bumps in the wake of his two indictments, in New York City and Florida.
Shane Goldmacher contributed reporting.