“While we understand that communication can sometimes be difficult, we believe that communication is necessary,” Garvey continued, adding that he was “disappointed” when he did not receive an apology for the slight.

A representative for DeSantis’s campaign did not return messages. The campaign moved the fundraiser to a more private location after Democratic groups planned to protest the event, according to a person familiar with the event.

The original site is part of Republican Rep. Mike Lawler’s 17th congressional district, which is a key target for Democrats and their plan to recapture the House in 2024.

Lawler, like the majority of the New York Republican congressional delegation, has not said whom he will back to challenge President Joe Biden. A spokesman for the congressman had no comment.

This week’s Siena poll found that 61 percent of New York Republicans would vote for Donald Trump if the primary were held now. If Trump were not the nominee, DeSantis would be the next pick favorite by a wide margin.

“Some people really like it,” said a New York Republican official. «‘It’s Trump-ish without the baggage,’ is the general feeling.»

That official said he wouldn’t expect the state’s congressional Republicans to start endorsement until at least this fall. «It’s a tough game,» he said. «You want to be early, but you don’t want to be wrong.»

DeSantis is also scheduled to collect donations at a Yale Club event in Manhattan on Thursday.

The luncheon, another $6,600-a-plate affair, is hosted by some throwback Republicans like William Heyman, a Travelers executive who was nominated to a New York Fed advisory committee by then-President George W. Bush, and the executive Buffalo real estate agent, Nick. Sinatra, who was political director in the Bush White House.

A version of this initially appeared in the June 29 issue of New York Playbook.