Two senior advisers on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign are departing this week to help a pro-DeSantis outside effort — a move that comes as he struggles to gain traction against former President Donald Trump.
Dave Abrams, the campaign’s communications adviser and media director, and Tucker Obenshain, who led external affairs, are leaving to help an outside political no-profit group that will be bolstering the governor, the campaign confirmed in a statement. Obenshain will lead the group that is expected to host events, as part of what the campaign is describing as a “DeSantis is everywhere strategy,” as he looks to compete in early nominating states, including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
“The more people hear and see Gov. DeSantis and his forward-thinking vision to fix Joe Biden’s failures, the better our path to victory,” Andrew Romeo, a DeSantis campaign spokesman, said in a statement. “Gov. DeSantis will be appearing at events with dozens of organizations celebrating his policy and leadership. The ‘DeSantis is everywhere’ tour has begun.”
The news comes amid broader questions about the strength of DeSantis’ campaign. DeSantis and his allied super PAC, Never Back Down, have self-reported large fundraising hauls. The campaign said it raised $20 million in the second quarter of this year.
But since his official campaign launch in May, polls have shown him trailing former President Donald Trump nationally and in early states by substantial margins.
On Thursday, NBC News reported on an internal memo that DeSantis circulated among donors recently seemed to acknowledge the rocky rollout, signaling the campaign would hold off investing in Super Tuesday states to shore up resources in New Hampshire.
Abrams and Obenshain played key roles on DeSantis’ blowout 2022 reelection win. Obenshain, who previously served as chief of staff to first lady Casey DeSantis and as a DeSantis reelection campaign finance director, will be leading the outside group. Abrams led paid media strategy on the 2022 campaign. He is expected to join a media firm, Ascent, that will be helping the pro-DeSantis nonprofit group.
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