Updated Aug 8, 2023 - Politics & Policy

DeSantis replaces campaign manager in staffing shakeup

Republican presidential candidate Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Speaks to guests at Ashley's BBQ Bash hosted by Congresswoman Ashley Hinson (R-IA) on August 06, 2023 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Speaks to guests August 6 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has replaced campaign manager Generra Peck with James Uthmeier, a campaign spokesperson confirmed to Axios on Tuesday.

Why it matters: It's the latest campaign shakeup from DeSantis, who has purged staff and shaken up his media strategy in recent weeks to try to gain ground on former President Trump.

Driving the news: "James Uthmeier has been one of Governor DeSantis' top advisors for years and he is needed where it matters most: working hand in hand with Generra Peck and the rest of the team to put the governor in the best possible position to win this primary and defeat Joe Biden," communications director Andrew Romeo said in a statement.

  • Uthmeier was the chief of staff for DeSantis' gubernatorial office in Florida, where he created a fundraising apparatus that involved state officials asking GOP lobbyists to donate to the DeSantis presidential campaign.
  • Romeo also confirmed that David Polyansky will become a deputy campaign manager. He has been a senior adviser to the super PAC supporting DeSantis, Never Back Down.

Between the lines: Peck has drawn increased scrutiny from donors as DeSantis' poll numbers have lagged and his campaign's cash reserves dwindle.

  • Current and former staffers also blamed Peck for hiring too quickly too soon and for the sense of disorganization and lack of direction that permeated the campaign.

Uthmeier has been increasingly involved with the presidential campaign in recent weeks, Axios previously reported.

  • Last month he received a briefing on the campaign's finances and gave his assessment to DeSantis personally, the New York Times reported.
  • The Messenger first reported the campaign staffing change.

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