DeSantis lays off a third of his campaign staff as presidential bid sputters

Comes amid a series of negative headlines for the governor

Eric Garcia
Tuesday 25 July 2023 19:40 BST
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Florida Gov Ron DeSantis’s presidential campaign laid off a third of its campaign staff as it continues to tighten its belt amid numerous negative news stories and lacklustre fundraising numbers, Politico reported.

The campaign will cut a total of 38 jobs, advisers told Politico, including 10 event planning roles the campaign announced weeks ago as well as that of top DeSantis advisers Dave Abrams and Tucker Obenshain. The latter two will advise a pro-DeSantis outside group.

“Following a top-to-bottom review of our organisation, we have taken additional, aggressive steps to streamline operations and put Ron DeSantis in the strongest position to win this primary and defeat Joe Biden,” campaign manager Generra Peck said in a statement. “Gov DeSantis is going to lead the Great American Comeback and we’re ready to hit the ground running as we head into an important month of the campaign.”

The slim-down comes after the DeSantis campaign announced it had raised $20m in the governor’s first quarter as a candidate. But the campaign had also spent $7.8m in its first quarter, an incredibly high burn rate. Many of the donors who had contributed had given the maximum legal limit, meaning they cannot donate again.

As of the end of June, the DeSantis campaign had more than 90 staffers. Politico previously reported that the DeSantis campaign had admitted to donors at a Utah retreat that it had spent too much money.

Mr DeSantis has failed to gain momentum in the Republican presidential nomination since he announced in May. A new poll from Fox Business showed that Mr DeSantis now trails former South Carolina governor in the state while he trails former president Donald Trump in Iowa.

The governor had previously let go of roughly a dozen staffers amid the bevy of negative headlines and weak fundraising numbers.

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