(Bloomberg) -- Florida Governor Ron DeSantis would violate campaign finance laws by transferring the $86 million war chest from his gubernatorial campaign to a federal super PAC backing his presidential run, according to a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission.

As a federal candidate, DeSantis, who officially entered the 2024 race last week, is barred from raising or spending “soft money,” or funds raised outside US election laws. His Florida political action committee was allowed under state law to raise money in unlimited amounts and from corporations — monies that are illegal for federal candidates to accept.

The complaint, filed by the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, asks the FEC to immediately investigate and take appropriate action, including issuing civil penalties. 

DeSantis is starting his campaign with most polls showing him lagging behind former president and current 2024 GOP frontrunner Donald Trump by wide margins. Both candidates are backed by super PACs that are already spending tens of millions on attack ads nationally and in states with early nominating contests. The money DeSantis has left over from his gubernatorial campaign would provide a financial boost in his effort to close the gap with his rival.

Read more: DeSantis Heads to Iowa in Fight for Trump Votes in Heartland

Four of the six commissioners at the FEC would have to vote to launch an investigation. There are currently three Republican commissioners and three Democrats, who often deadlock along partisan lines. By law, no more than three commissioners can belong to the same political party. 

In an earlier case involving a Florida PAC set up by a state legislator who later ran for Congress, the three GOP commissioners found no violations. They wrote in May 2022 that as long as the PAC was no longer controlled by the lawmaker, it could transfer leftover funds to a federal super PAC that backed his congressional campaign. The FEC ultimately deadlocked in that case.

DeSantis severed ties with Friends of Ron DeSantis, his state-level political action committee which has since been renamed Empower Parents PAC, on May 5, according to a letter he sent to the Florida Bureau of Election Records. The PAC has a new chairman as well. Blaise Ingoglia, a state senator, took over the PAC on May 8.

State and federal campaign finance records have yet to show that DeSantis’s Empower Parents PAC has transferred funds to Never Back Down, the federal super PAC that’s supporting him. Empower Parents PAC next discloses information on its transactions on June 12 while Never Back Down must file its first report on its donors with the FEC by July 31.  

Never Back Down reported raising $30 million last month and has already reserved $10.8 million in ads — including $5.2 million nationally and more than $1.5 million in Iowa, according to AdImpact.

The DeSantis presidential campaign said it raised more than $8 million in the 24 hours after he announced his bid.

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