DeSantis Super PAC Sees Further Upheaval with Official’s Departure
The super PAC supporting Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign, Never Back Down, has fired its newly-appointed CEO, Kristin Davison, and replaced her with Scott Wagner. The PAC is currently experiencing its third round of upheaval in recent weeks, as it also dismissed its spokeswoman, Erin Perrine, with more departures expected. This comes in a critical time as the primary enters its final weeks before the first nominating contest, and amid internal battles within the group’s senior officials and the creation of a new outside group, Fight Right.
Staff Shake-Up in DeSantis-linked Super PAC, Never Back Down
The Super PAC ‘Never Back Down’ supporting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in his presidential bid experienced a staff shake-up this week, replacing its newly appointed CEO, Kristin Davison, with Scott Wagner, a close confidant of DeSantis. This marks the third upheaval for the Super PAC in recent weeks.
Along with Davison, the group’s spokesperson, Erin Perrine, was also dismissed. It is unclear at this time who initiated these dismissals and why. Davison’s departure was first reported by Politico.
“Scott Wagner will now serve as chairman of the board and interim CEO of Never Back Down,” confirmed Jess Szymanski, a spokesperson for the group. She highlighted that Never Back Down remains the most organized and advanced caucus operation of any in the 2024 primary field.
Never Back Down Amid Internal Tensions
Established earlier this year, well before DeSantis announced his candidacy, Never Back Down has had a turbulent journey so far. Recent controversies include internal disputes among senior officials and the transfer of $1 million to a new group, Fight Right, created by DeSantis’s close allies.
The group also witnessed the resignation of its first CEO, Chris Jankowski on Thanksgiving eve, followed by the departure of Adam Laxalt, another key member.
Strategic Changes Amid Election Campaign
Perrine and Davison both worked with the group’s primary strategist, Jeff Roe, at his company, Axiom Strategies. Speculations suggest that a dispute between Roe and Wagner might have led to the creation of the new Super PAC, Fight Right.
The DeSantis campaign has reportedly welcomed the new Super PAC. DeSantis’s campaign manager, James Uthmeier, mentioned in a memo that Fight Right would offer “welcomed air support” with TV ads, shifting Never Back Down’s focus to its “field operation and ground game.”
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