Ron DeSantis and his bid for the presidency has taken a major twist on Tuesday, as the campaign slashed more than a third of its payroll.
The mass layoff comes as the Florida governor aims to regain momentum in the GOP primary race.
Advisors have confirmed that a total of 38 positions will be eliminated across various departments. Among those affected are the approximately 10 event planning roles, which were announced just a week ago, and the recent departures of two top advisors, Dave Abrams and Tucker Obenshain.
Generra Peck, DeSantis’ campaign manager, stated on Tuesday evening, “Following a thorough review of our organization, we have taken bold steps to streamline operations and position Ron DeSantis strongly for victory in the primary, ultimately defeating Joe Biden. Gov. DeSantis is prepared to lead the Great American Comeback, and we are fully geared to make significant strides in this crucial month of the campaign.”
Such wide-ranging staff cuts signal the campaign’s shift towards a leaner operation amidst financial concerns. While the campaign raised a promising $20 million for its coffers during the second quarter of 2023, a hefty chunk of those funds has already been spent. It also appears that a part of said money came from contributors of more modest means, who had reached their maximum funding limit.
Federal filings indicate that the campaign had over 90 staffers on its payroll until the end of June.
During a recent donor retreat in Utah, Peck candidly acknowledged overspending in certain areas and stressed the need for further adjustments. Advisors laid out plans to reposition DeSantis as an insurgent underdog, seeking to reduce costs by focusing on more intimate events and reining in travel expenses.
Furthermore, several aides who are officially departing the campaign will remain involved in supporting DeSantis through an external lobby group.
Incumbent chief technology officer Carl Sceusa will be reshuffled to chief financial officer in a bid to overhaul financial management.
Recent weeks have seen other staff changes within the campaign as DeSantis’ team scrambles to optimize his message and strategy. Digital director Ethan Eilon has now taken on the role of deputy campaign manager. Cody Hall, a prominent political advisor to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, has been brought on board as a senior communications advisor. Andrew Romeo, the former campaign spokesperson, has been promoted to the position of communications director.
Scott Closes In On Ron DeSantis
Earlier this week former GOP nominee Mitt Romney made headlines after urging anti-Trump Republicans to rally around a single candidate by next February, in a bid to stop the ex-President’s bid for the nomination.
According to a recent Fox Business survey, former President Donald Trump maintains a significant lead in the GOP field, with 46 percent of potential Iowa Republican caucus-goers expressing support for him.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis garnered 16 percent support as the first choice among potential Iowa caucus-goers, while South Carolina Senator Tim Scott received 11 percent.
Other Republican candidates are polling in the single digits, with entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswany at 6 percent, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley at 5 percent, former Vice President Mike Pence at 4 percent, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum both at 3 percent.
Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez each have 1 percent support, while conservative talk show host Larry Elder and former Representative Will Hurd have yet to reach 1 percent in the polls.
Georgia Gilholy is a journalist based in the United Kingdom who has been published in Newsweek, The Times of Israel, and the Spectator. Gilholy writes about international politics, culture, and education.