DeSantis Fires Roughly A Dozen Staffers With More On The Way

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Jul 16, 2023 - 10:35 PM

The 2024 presidential campaign of Ron DeSantis (R) has fired roughly a dozen staffers, with more 'expected in the coming weeks,' after the Florida governor has failed to gain ground on former President Donald Trump less than two months after he entered the race.

According to NBC News, those who were let go were described as mid-level staffers across several departments whose firings were related to cutting costs. The downsizing comes after the departures of David Abrams and Tucker Obenshain, veterans of DeSantis’ political orbit, as first reported by Politico.

Sources from within the DeSantis campaign say that there's an internal assessment that they hired too many staffers too early despite a $20 million haul during the first six weeks, and that costs needed to come down.

Others within DeSantis' political orbit have laid the blame at the feet of campaign manager Generra Peck, who spearheaded the governor's 2022 midterm reelection bid.

"She should be," said one DeSantis donor.

"They never should have brought so many people on, the burn rate was way too high," said one GOP source familiar with the campaign's thought process. "People warned the campaign manager but she wanted to hear none of it."

"DeSantis stock isn’t rising," added the donor. "Twenty percent is not what people signed up for."

The person noted that DeSantis has a penchant for switching out staff, which means that he has no core team that has worked together before. DeSantis had three different campaign teams for each of his three runs for Congress, and notably had a huge campaign shakeup during his first run for governor in 2018. -NBC News

In response, DeSantis campaign spokesman Eric Romeo told NBC News; "Americans are rallying behind Ron DeSantis and his plan to reverse Joe Biden’s failures and restore sanity to our nation, and his momentum will only continue as voters see more of him in-person, especially in Iowa. Defeating Joe Biden and the $72 million behind him will require a nimble and candidate driven campaign, and we are building a movement to go the distance."

According to campaign finance reports filed Saturday, the DeSantis campaign had 92 people listed as being on the payroll for at least some period of time during the first fundraising period - the most of any GOP presidential candidate. This comes amid 'huge payroll expenses' and 'fewer resources than originally thought.'

As of now, DeSantis has $12 million in the bank - of which just $3 million can be used during the general election. Around $14 million of his Q2 haul came from donors who contributed the maximum legal amount. This means that around 2/3 of his early donors will be barred from giving directly to his campaign for the remainder of the race.

Never Back Down, the pro-DeSantis super PAC, has said it will spend up to $200 million to boost the governor's White House bid and has a significantly larger staff than the official campaign.

The moment of potential reset comes ahead of a national finance committee meeting for DeSantis' campaign Sunday in Tallahassee, which will bring the campaign’s brain trust together as they try to figure out how to chip into Trump’s massive GOP primary lead.

The event will include a briefing at the campaign’s Tallahassee headquarters followed by a barbecue at the governor’s mansion, according to an invite reviewed by NBC News.

Despite being on the campaign trail for nearly two months, DeSantis has been frustrating some supporters for his failure to make up ground against Trump.

"Yeah, there are people grumbling about it, no doubt," said one DeSantis donor. "There is an overall sense, including with me, that he just has not ignited the way we thought he would."