OAN’s Brooke Mallory
3:17 PM – Tuesday, August 8, 2023
A campaign official and a source familiar with the decision confirmed to the press that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has removed his campaign manager, Generra Peck, in what is the third significant reshuffling of his political operations.
As part of the new structure, Peck will be promoted to the role of chief strategist. James Uthmeier, who served as chief of staff in DeSantis’ governor’s office, will be replacing Peck in her position.
Uthmeier stated in a text message that the modification will take place “ASAP.”
The move comes only weeks after the DeSantis campaign and close advisors assured that Peck’s position was secure, despite the fact that the team had to lay off a third of its personnel due to a financial shortage and concerns about the campaign’s direction.
The governor’s staff promised to scale back, develop an insurgent operation, and engage with the mainstream media more often.
One individual close to the campaign, who requested anonymity in order to freely discuss the matter, said Peck’s dismissal, came as, “No surprise. Should have occurred a couple weeks ago.”
DeSantis’ campaign spokesperson, Andrew Romeo, confirmed the staff changes, saying, “Uthmeier has been one of Governor DeSantis’ top advisors for years, and he is needed where it matters the 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.”
He also stated that David Polyansky, who previously worked for Never Back Down, a super PAC backing DeSantis, will join the campaign.
Uthmeier, who performed a study of campaign operations prior to the change, has the “trust” of DeSantis and his wife, Casey, as well as the respect of campaign personnel. The source, who was not allowed to talk publicly about the topic, claimed Peck was experiencing “managerial angst” and had “lost [the] confidence” of the campaign staff.
The individual described Uthmeier’s job as “CEO” of the campaign but also said that he relies on Polyansky and Marc Reichelderfer, a longtime Tallahassee political strategist, as “senior vice presidents” with national campaign expertise.
Ryan Tyson, a well-known pollster, is also anticipated to play an important part in the campaign.
Uthmeier has been DeSantis’ chief of staff since October 2021 after previously serving as the governor’s general counsel. He has also been engaged in several of the governor’s most visible projects, including last year’s scheme to transport migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard.
He previously served as a senior advisor to former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, but his expertise is mostly in legal work rather than campaign management.
According to the governor’s office, Uthmeier is taking an unpaid leave of absence from the administration to focus on the DeSantis campaign and is not retiring permanently from his position as chief of staff.
Alex Kelly, a former senior deputy to DeSantis who was recently chosen to be the Secretary of Commerce, will serve as temporary chief of staff while Uthmeier works with the campaign, which is based in Tallahassee, Florida.
The Florida governor has consistently maintained that he would push forward in 2024 polling in early states such as Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Donald Trump is still leading by a wide margin.
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