Ron DeSantis’ ‘reboot’ features yet another round of staff cuts

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Dozens of campaign workers have been cut as polling plunges, burn rate concerns increase.

Just like NFL teams, the summer is bringing roster cuts to Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign.

As POLITICO first reported, a total of 38 positions have been eliminated from the Florida Governor’s White House bid. That number includes 10 event planning roles cut previously, and reduces the headcount from 92 people as of the end of June.

“Following a top-to-bottom review of our organization, 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,” DeSantis Campaign Manager Generra Peck said.

Florida Politics has reached out for more details on which positions have been affected, as well as to find out if some or all of the discharged employees will be able to move to outside organizations helping the DeSantis effort, and if fired employees are at liberty to move to other campaigns.

The news comes just hours after DeSantis’ motorcade was in a multicar accident involving Florida Department of Law Enforcement staff and vehicles.

The staff cuts likely will reduce operational expenses.

As The Associated Press reported, DeSantis spent more than $890,000 on payroll in the six weeks it was officially operating during Q2. The campaign spent nearly as much ($845,000) on travel expenses.

DeSantis has defended his campaign’s staffing as an alternative to “consultants.”

A big part of it, he told reporters, was the campaign eschews “consultants” in favor of “in-house” employees, which he said actually saves money.

“First of all, we don’t do consultants. So we do everything in house. So yes, some people would not have some of the people we have, but they’d also be paying a lot more money for the consultants who charge a lot,” DeSantis said, calling it a “different model of doing more in house than doing consultants.”

“You know, you can raise money online, which we’ve done very well at,” DeSantis added. “Do you want to give 10% of the cut to somebody when you’re doing that? No, we’d rather pay salaries for people to perform a function.”

The Governor soon enough changed subjects, saying “all that stuff is background noise.”

“Background noise” or not, it’s in the foreground now.

DeSantis’ burn rate is notable. He raised more than $20 million in the first six weeks of the race, with $8.2 million raised in the first 24 hours. However, he spent nearly $8 million, giving him $12.2 million on hand at the end of the second quarter. Roughly a quarter of that sum can’t be used for the Primary.

The latest revelations mark a new low for a presidential candidate who entered the Republican Primary this spring with sky-high expectations as Republican Primary voters signaled a willingness to move on from Trump. Two months later, the 44-year-old DeSantis stands a distant second in most polls as GOP operatives and donors alike question his readiness for the national stage.

Trump’s allies immediately celebrated the news of DeSantis’ latest campaign struggles on social media.

“TURMOIL IN TALLAHASSEE,” the Trump campaign tweeted.

Still, with the first votes of the Primary season still six months away, DeSantis has time to recover as Trump’s allies brace for a possible third criminal indictment.

DeSantis’ team has quietly expressed confidence for months that voters would eventually tire of Trump’s escalating legal troubles and personal baggage. But that same baggage, playing out in the U.S. legal system just as the GOP Primary intensifies, leaves precious little oxygen for him and his rivals to break through. And Trump’s standing with Republican Primary voters seems to be growing stronger with every new legal challenge.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


10 comments

  • My Take

    July 25, 2023 at 2:08 pm

    4 x “decimated”
    Going down.

  • Dont Say FLA

    July 25, 2023 at 2:09 pm

    Rhonda’s fixing to shift their spending to consultants. It’s too late, Rhonda. Not even experienced, politically savvy consultants can reel your disastrous campaign back in, especially when you’re still the candidate. You want your campaign to win, Rhonda? Resign from it.Appoint somebody else as candidate. Anyone at all. Casey would fare better than you, Rhonda. Resign to Run Casey.

  • 38 unregistered foreign agents

    July 25, 2023 at 2:27 pm

    Can we infer that Ron’s campaign somehow realized 38 of their employees were unregistered foreign agents and got rid of them before word got out? They should have registered like DeSantis insider Pushaw is registered as a foreign agent.

  • Ron Forrest Ron

    July 25, 2023 at 2:53 pm

    Have they tried rebooting the rebooter? Maybe that will work and then try another reboot of the campaign.

  • Joe

    July 25, 2023 at 3:13 pm

    FP should do a deep-dive on Lil Ronnie’s next campaign manager, the very secretive and very dirty operative Ethan Eilon: this DC swamp leech is exactly the kind of human scum that Casey likes to bring into the campaign.

  • Michael K

    July 25, 2023 at 3:50 pm

    It’s not the message that’s the turn off – it’s the messenger. Good luck to the poor slobs charged with making him “appear to be more likable.”

    You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still pig.

  • My Take

    July 26, 2023 at 5:33 am

    Òthers have discussed it, but just return to the likely upcoming scenè where Rhonda has lost, where Rhonda is a confirmed LOSER! And it CANNOT be his fault. Imagine tne blamethrowing to come!

  • Dates Please

    July 26, 2023 at 7:57 am

    Can the Rhonda Reboot headlines have dates included please? It’s hard to tell when there’s been another reboot versus another story about a previous boot. Or maybe name them like hurricanes? Reboot Amari. Reboot Biggie Smalls. Reboot Chamillionaire. Reboot DMX.. etc

  • Tjb

    July 26, 2023 at 9:42 am

    Has DeSantis fired Casey and Christina Pushaw? Their campaign strategies and messaging is cancerous.

  • Lex

    July 26, 2023 at 1:05 pm

    Ron, this will be a long primary. You need to be the last one standing next to Trump; if Trump wins, it will be okay. Pace your money and staff. You might even set yourself up to potentially be the Vice President. If Trump implodes, we will need you to lead the party. You are not doing anything wrong. Trump is just getting all the press. You should have expected Trump to get all the media, at least until we had primaries and debates. It’s not fair to you, but the whole Republican Party is being forced to circle the wagons around Trump because of the unfair treatment Trump is getting. Even with all the unfair treatment of Trump, you have a much better chance in a general election. Pace yourself, set low expectations, and be there at the end.

Comments are closed.


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