Ron DeSantis campaign official involved in fatal crash
Photo from NBC-2.

NBC-2 crash pic

The coalitions director for Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis’ gubernatorial campaign was involved in a fatal crash in Fort Myers on Sunday.

Peter Cuderman. Photo courtesy FGCU.

Peter Cuderman, who joined DeSantis’ team in September, drove a vehicle that crashed into two individuals outside a disabled vehicle off Interstate 75 in Fort Myers, according to NBC-2.

A 2014 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Cuderman struck Matthew Paul Clark, a 38-year-old man standing outside a 2000 Silverado parked off an interstate entrance ramp. Clark died from injuries after being transported to Gulf Coast Hospital.

Matthew Ryan, the driver for the struck vehicle, parked his truck between the inside lane and shoulder of the I-75 entrance ramp, north of Alico Road in Fort Myers.

Ryan’s truck pulled a trailer behind it, and both Ryan and Clark were outside the vehicle and walking toward the trailer at the time of the crash.

Cuderman’s vehicle struck the trailer, rotated and struck both men, reports The News-Press. The crash remains under investigation and no charges have been filed. Ryan and Cuderman both suffered minor injuries.

Cuderman, 28, did not go to the hospital, according to NBC-2. He lives in nearby Bonita Springs, and also works as an adjunct professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, close to the site of the crash.

A reserve U.S. Marine Corps officer, he served in student government while attending FGCU and was elected president of his fraternity there. He served as student trustee for the university, and has remained heavily involved with the school since then.

Cuderman moved into his role as coalitions director with the DeSantis campaign shortly after the incoming governor won the Republican primary.

Cuderman oversaw the Hispanic, Jewish, Minorities, Women and Veterans coalitions in the buildup to DeSantis’ November victory over Democrat Andrew Gillum.

DeSantis will be sworn in Jan. 8.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


  • Sash

    January 2, 2019 at 10:50 am

    I’ve met Peter Cuderman several times at reputable events and I can say that every time, he was drunk. He needs to clean up his act before its too late.

    • Sash

      January 2, 2019 at 10:51 am

      Wait – it is too late.

      • Sigmund

        January 3, 2019 at 9:50 pm

        Those claims are unsubstantiated. Plenty of people drink at public events. And it doesn’t mean he was drunk during the crash. Let the investigators make that conclusion.

    • Ty

      January 9, 2019 at 3:39 pm

      You may have met him but you do not know him. I have met Peter several times as well, and have gotten to know him professionally through the years… He has always carried himself appropriately and maturely. Not once have I ever gained the impression he was ‘drunk’… From local events, entrepreneurial events, networking events, campaign events, and beyond- he has always carried and presented himself in an appropriate manner. He does a lot for the local community and dedicates himself to growing the entrepreneurial network/resources here in Southwest Florida. I know your claims about Mr. Cuderman are unsubstantiated and likely false, with you wanting to drum up biased negativity in this sensitive situation. Peter is a good man and an exemplary member of the community. My thoughts & prayers are with the friends/families of all affected by this terrible accident. Nobody should have to lose their life on the side of a highway, but also nobody deserves to have their name tainted publically on the internet by illegitimate anonymous comments.

Comments are closed.


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