Top GOP strategist quits DeSantis PAC just weeks before Iowa caucus

A top Republican strategist for a PAC supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign announced he is resigning from the organization just weeks before the Iowa caucus.

“I am resigning my position effective immediately,” veteran GOP strategist Jeff Roe said in a statement posted to X late Saturday. “Governor DeSantis has been an exceptional governor and I hope he will be the 47th President of the United States. I wish the Governor, First Lady, and their entire team the best through the rest of the campaign.”

Roe’s departure comes amid a string of exits from Never Back Down, the main PAC supporting the Florida governor’s White House bid, coming just two weeks after the organization fired three top officials, including its chief executive officer. According to reporting from Politico, the PAC’s board chairman and also its president left the organization around the same time.

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The turmoil at the PAC was the subject of a Washington Post report Saturday, which detailed the sudden rash of departures and infighting that has plagued the organization as the Iowa caucus quickly approaches.

Included in the report was a statement from Never Back Down chairman Scott Wagner, who blamed the recent firings on “mismanagement and conduct issues, including numerous unauthorized leaks containing false information.”

“Senior officials were terminated,” Wagner told the Washington Post. “We don’t have time to indulge false narratives from those with ulterior motives.”

But a lawyer for the fired employees accused Wagner of making a “categorically false” statement, leading to a revised statement with a different tone.

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“Following some opinions regarding mismanagement and conduct issues, including some who believed there appeared to be numerous unauthorized leaks containing false information, NBD and some senior officials parted ways,” Wagner told the Washington Post.

“I cannot in good conscience stay affiliated with Never Back Down given the statements in the Washington Post today,” Roe said in his statement. “They are not true and an unwanted distraction at a critical time for Governor DeSantis.”

DeSantis entered the race with a $269 million war chest, according to the report, with $82.5 million coming through Never Back Down in an unprecedented new campaign strategy. The PAC has largely been responsible for funding most of the Florida governer’s advertising and field operations, while also paying for much of the candidate’s campaign travel.

According to the Washington Post report, Roe’s departure will not leave the PAC without experienced campaign veterans, with longtime DeSantis ally Phil Cox stepping into a senior adviser role while others are elevated to heightened roles.

Meanwhile, Roe expressed that he is “proud of the team” that was built at Never Back Down and the “incredible work and integrity of every devoted professional within the organization.”

“This is a team of political warriors and their grind and dedication over the last nine months has helped put Governor Ron DeSantis in a strong position,” Roe said.

The DeSantis campaign and Never Back Down did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment.

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