In a significant development within Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ presidential bid, the chief strategist for the main super PAC supporting his campaign has stepped down. Jeff Roe, the leading consultant for Never Back Down, announced his resignation late Saturday, signaling further turbulence in the campaign just as the crucial Iowa caucuses approach.
Roe publicized his exit on social media platforms, notably on the website previously known as Twitter, in the wake of a Washington Post article that reported on internal conflicts and allegations of mismanagement within the pro-DeSantis group. The report detailed unauthorized information leaks and accusations that sparked division among campaign affiliates.
In his public statement, Roe expressed his disbelief over the contentious end to his tenure with Never Back Down, distancing himself from the allegations reported, which he categorically denied.
The shakeup within Never Back Down has seen several high-profile departures, including two CEOs, the chairman, and the communications director. Concurrently, a new super PAC, Fight Right, has emerged with direct approval from DeSantis’ campaign team, hinting at a strategic pivot.
Legal concerns have also surfaced regarding the boundaries between DeSantis’ campaign and its supportive super PACs. The Associated Press shed light on worries about potential breaches in the legal separation required between such entities. Insider reports suggest that DeSantis and his spouse were unsettled by Never Back Down’s campaign strategies amid stagnant poll numbers in Iowa, leading to indirect communications between the campaign and the PAC’s board.
Never Back Down had assumed an unusual level of involvement in the campaign, handling voter organization and extensive advertising efforts traditionally managed by the campaign staff.
Roe, known for his strategic role in Senator Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign and Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s successful bid, had only recently formed ties with DeSantis, who has often kept a distance from political consultants.
Former President Donald Trump, observing from afar as he attended a UFC fight in Las Vegas, reacted promptly on social media, suggesting that Roe’s departure spelled the end for DeSantis’ campaign efforts.
DeSantis, who has heavily invested in the Iowa campaign, finds himself trailing in the polls against Trump. The super PAC in question, initially infused with significant funding, now faces an uncertain future as these internal shifts unfold.