NEW YORK — In a blow to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ White House bid, the top strategist of the embattled super PAC supporting his campaign has resigned. The departure of Jeff Roe, announced on X, comes amidst internal disputes and suspicions within the campaign and its allies.
Simultaneously, DeSantis’ allies in Florida have formed a new super PAC called Fight Right. This development has received public support from the DeSantis campaign itself.
However, concerns have arisen regarding the blurred lines between DeSantis’ campaign and his network of outside groups. The Associated Press recently reported growing anxieties within DeSantis’ team about potential legal issues arising from these interactions.
With just a month remaining until the Iowa caucuses, this resignation and the string of internal conflicts pose significant challenges to DeSantis’ campaign for the White House.
Never Back Down: A Unique Role in the Election
Never Back Down, a super PAC associated with Governor DeSantis, has played a remarkable role in the current election cycle. While Super PACs are legally prohibited from direct coordination with campaigns, some concerns regarding Never Back Down’s messaging were expressed by DeSantis and his wife as his poll numbers in Iowa remained stagnant.
DeSantis’s team later conveyed these concerns to members of Never Back Down’s board, as shared by individuals familiar with DeSantis’s political network. The board members then relayed these wishes to the super PAC staff responsible for executing strategies. However, DeSantis’s campaign has denied any wrongdoing.
One cannot overlook the unprecedented involvement of Never Back Down in this election. Traditionally, campaigns handle voter organization, door-knocking efforts, and advertisement strategies. However, Never Back Down has taken up these responsibilities along with overseeing a massive get-out-the-vote operation. Tens of millions of dollars have been invested in commercials by this super PAC.
It’s noteworthy that Jeff Roe, a renowned strategist within the Republican Party, who ran Ted Cruz’s successful 2016 presidential campaign, has also been involved. Despite having limited prior association with DeSantis, Roe has proven his expertise by contributing to Glenn Youngkin’s victorious run for Virginia Governor.
Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump expressed his support through a social media post from Las Vegas, where he was attending a UFC fight. Trump celebrated the news of Jeff Roe’s departure and confidently stated, “Jeff Roe is out—GAME OVER for DeSanctimonious!”
Undoubtedly, DeSantis places great importance on his performance in Iowa, especially considering Trump’s substantial lead in recent polls. This is further emphasized by the fact that over $80 million was allocated to Never Back Down from DeSantis’s political accounts this spring.
Never Back Down continues to play a pivotal role in the election, despite the challenges faced by DeSantis and his team. It remains to be seen how their strategies unfold as the campaign progresses.