Four cars in Ron DeSantis motorcade crash into each other on way to Tennessee fundraisers

‘We appreciate the prayers and well wishes of the nation for his continued protection while on the campaign trail,’ spokesperson says

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
,John Bowden
Tuesday 25 July 2023 20:45 BST
Ron DeSantis: CCTV shows emergency services attending car crash scene

Ron DeSantis was in a car crash while on his way to a fundraiser in Tennessee.

The Florida governor and 2024 presidential candidate was uninjured in the Tuesday morning incident.

“This morning, the governor was in a car accident while traveling to an event in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He and his team are uninjured. We appreciate the prayers and well wishes of the nation for his continued protection while on the campaign trail,” spokesperson Bryan Griffin said in a statement.

Mr DeSantis was set to attend fundraisers in Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Nashville on Tuesday as his campaign is reported to be floundering both in terms of funding and poll numbers.

The crash took place on I-75 South close to the 2.8-mile marker, south of the 153 exit, according to News Channel 9.

Chattanooga Police told the outlet that a previous crash caused the incident with the motorcade. Other motorists crashed after drivers were forced to quickly brake to allow an animal, possibly a dog, to cross the highway.

Following that crash, three vehicles in the governor’s motorcade ended up in a dead-end collision as they slowed down to avoid the original collision.

Law enforcement said one of the staffers suffered a minor injury. Mr DeSantis and his staff continued their journey to the fundraisers.

The incident and Mr DeSantis’s string of fresh fundraisers come amid reports that he had blown 40 per cent of his campaign donations on private jets and fancy campaign dinners.

Ron DeSantis was in a car crash on 25 July while on his way to fundraisers in Tennessee (TDOT Smartway)

His campaign advisers took the rare (and sometimes fatal) step of acknowledging mismanagement of the Florida governor’s presidential bid this weekend, as reports revealed that he is burning through cash with little to show for it.

The Florida governor’s top staff and advisers were in Utah on Sunday where, according to Politico, they appeared in front of dozens of restless campaign donors who have expressed concern about a return on their investments and the overall trajectory of Mr DeSantis’s bid for the White House.

The meeting comes as the DeSantis campaign is beginning to draw comparisons to the well-financed eventual flop that was the Jeb Bush 2016 campaign, the last bid by a Republican governor of Florida to win a GOP primary against Donald Trump.

Indeed, Mr DeSantis has earned some of those comparisons, given that he continues to trail far behind Mr Trump in all available polling and now sees other Republican candidates in a much better position to dethrone him than he is to usurp the former president’s mantle of frontrunner.

On Sunday, aides including campaign manager Generra Peck admitted that the governor’s bid was spending donations too freely, in particular faulting the event planning team which saw a number of firings this past week.

According to The New York Times, the DeSantis campaign has already spent 40 per cent of the donations it has raised directly in the first six weeks of his campaign — though that number does not count the war chest controlled by the Never Back Down PAC, the governor’s vehicle for outside spending.

Among the steeper expenditures which apparently led to the recent staff shakeup have included fancy retreats for donors and supporters.

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