Ron DeSantis Fires Several Staff in Campaign Shakeup

Ron DeSantis’ campaign has let go of several staff members just two months into it hitting the campaign trail while it deals with bleeding cash in its effort to stave off Donald Trump’s lead for a Republican presidential nomination bid.

According to NBC News, in the campaign’s first six weeks, he had already hit all the top donors and bled through $7.9 million as a presidential candidate, according to the data the network analyzed from his campaign finance disclosure.

Beyond the cash woes, the staff shakeup included about a dozen mid-level staffers from several departments who were fired amid the campaign’s cashflow issues. The firings come as DeSantis has struggled in meeting its fundraising goals. DeSantis had raised $20 million, with $3 million dedicated to the general election. However, two-thirds of the funds came from donors who gave the maximum amount allowed legally, meaning they cannot donate more to him. Only 15 percent of DeSantis donations came from small donors, an area where Trump has succeeded in shoring up his donations.

Sources told NBC News that despite the $20 million, the campaign had taken on too many staffers early in the process, and costs needed to be cut down.

“They never should have brought so many people on, the burn rate was way too high,” one Republican source familiar with the campaign’s thought process told the network. “People warned the campaign manager [Generra Peck] but she wanted to hear none of it.”

In the second quarter, DeSantis had already spent $1 million on payroll, payroll taxes, and associated fees with 90 staffers on board. It is the largest staff of any of the Republican candidates, and left the campaign with less resources than it anticipated.

Despite the shakeup, DeSantis spokesman Andrew Romeo told NBC News, “Americans are rallying behind Ron DeSantis and his plan to reverse Joe Biden’s failures and restore sanity to our nation, and his momentum will only continue as voters see more of him in-person, especially in Iowa. Defeating Joe Biden and the $72 million behind him will require a nimble and candidate driven campaign, and we are building a movement to go the distance.”

Pro-DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down said it would spend up to $200 million on the governor’s presidential campaign; it has already raised more than $100 million, as Politico notes. And DeSantis is still in second place behind Trump in the GOP Primary.

Iowa is now the focus, according to some supporters, and DeSantis is expected to campaign heavily in the state. Though he is trailing in polls in Iowa, his advisers told Politico that he may have a bit of an advantage right now after Trump attacked the state’s popular Republican governor, Kim Reynolds, for remaining neutral about the candidates.

“Donald Trump gave us an opening in Iowa this week, and we’re taking it,” Romeo told Politico.


The news comes on the heels of the Murdoch family, conservative-media kingmakers who were originally in DeSantis’ corner, growing increasingly displeased with DeSantis’ campaign’s perceived stumbles, lackluster polling, and inability to swiftly dethrone Trump, multiple sources told Rolling Stone.

“[Rupert’s] understandable worry is that we may end up being stuck with Trump anyway,” a senior Fox source said. “And DeSantis is underperforming. Anybody can see that … [and the Murdochs], they’re seeing it, too.”