DeSantis unveils new economic plan


DeSantis unveils new economic plan with hopes of campaign comeback

04:45

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has replaced campaign manager Generra Peck with his longtime chief of staff James Uthmeier, the latest shake-up in DeSantis’ presidential campaign as he continues to lag former President Donald Trump in early state polls.

A DeSantis spokesperson confirmed the move and added that David Polyansky, who was the senior adviser to the pro-DeSantis super PAC “Never Back Down,” will also become a deputy campaign manager. 

The replacement of Peck was first reported by The Messenger.

“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,” said DeSantis communications director Andrew Romeo. 

Peck was DeSantis’ campaign manager for his 2022 reelection bid, when he beat Democrat Charlie Crist by 20 points. But after anxiety from donors over the start of the campaign and nearly a third of the campaign’s staff recently being cut to reduce overspending, Peck had lost confidence from “folks inside and outside the campaign,” according to one donor.

DeSantis campaign senior adviser and pollster Ryan Tyson is also going to have an elevated role in the campaign, according to one fundraiser.

Uthmeier has been in DeSantis’ governor’s office since 2019 and became his chief of staff in the fall of 2021. This will be his first national campaign.

One DeSantis fundraiser voiced concern with Uthmeier’s inexperience. “You’ve got to know the basics of politics, the speed at which politics goes compared to government. Two different worlds,” the fundraiser said, adding they were surprised about Peck’s replacement, citing reassurance from the campaign during a July donor retreat in Utah that “she’s not going anywhere.” 

They noted the shake-up comes as DeSantis’ campaign schedule on the ground in Iowa and New Hampshire is accelerating, along with his engagement with mainstream media outlets. 

“The timing is so bizarre,” they said. “The campaign is sort of believing the narrative that others are saying, that we’re not in a good spot. We’re in a great spot. That’s why this change today to me is [an] overreaction and it shows they’re reading Twitter too much or following the insider beltway.”