The chief strategist at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ allied super PAC Never Back Down has resigned less than a month before the Iowa Caucus.
Jeff Roe announced his decision in a statement shared on social media late Saturday, hours after The Washington Post published an article detailing dysfunction in the DeSantis super PAC.
“I cannot in good conscience stay affiliated with Never Back Down given the statements in the Washington Post today,” Roe said.
“They are not true and an unwanted distraction at a critical time for Governor DeSantis. I am resigning my position effective immediately. 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,” he said.
His abrupt departure follows that of five other senior officials who left the super PAC since late November. Three of them were fired, with Never Back Down chairman Scott Wagner telling the Post on Saturday the dismissals were due to suspected “mismanagement and conduct issues.”
The Post interviewed several people involved with the super PAC who described a power struggle between those in DeSantis’ inner circle and staffers at Never Back Down, with the former allegedly making key strategic decisions.
“The professionals are out and DeSantis wants to go into the home stretch with his closest confidants,” one anonymous source was quoted as telling the Post. DeSantis himself has reportedly been unhappy with the super PAC’s ad strategy, so much so that one of his campaign managers is said to have told donors to find somewhere else to give their money for TV ads.
Some within DeSantis’ camp have reportedly grown concerned in recent weeks about overlap between his campaign and the network of outside groups supporting his presidential bid. Federal laws forbid coordination between presidential campaigns and outside groups.