In a move signaling the escalating momentum of the Republican primary race, Ron DeSantis has reshaped his campaign leadership as the first GOP debate rapidly approaches. DeSantis has handpicked his trusted adviser, James Uthmeier, to spearhead his campaign, replacing Generra Peck, who has reportedly lost the confidence of the campaign team.
BREAKING: Ron DeSantis is replacing his campaign manager after laying off a third of his campaign staff last month, sources say. https://t.co/vkNLFOm3im
— ABC News (@ABC) August 8, 2023
Uthmeier, hailed as one of DeSantis’s “most trusted and most conservative advisers,” brings to the fore his extensive experience as the former chief of staff for the Florida governor. With his firm grasp of conservative values and astute political insights, Uthmeier is poised to guide DeSantis’s campaign toward victory.
The strategic shuffle doesn’t stop there; David Polyansky, a seasoned operative who prides himself in an unblemished record of victories in GOP presidential primaries, will join Uthmeier as the deputy campaign manager. This seasoned duo aims to fortify DeSantis’s position in the race and infuse renewed vigor into his campaign.
As the primary field maintains a steady course, with Donald Trump leading and DeSantis trailing far behind in second place, the selection of Uthmeier and Polyansky signals DeSantis’s commitment to seizing the lead.
Addressing the move, a spokesperson for DeSantis’ campaign stated, “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.”
In a statement following his appointment, Uthmeier pointed out that DeSantis has consistently defied his critics.
“From his race against establishment primary candidate Adam Putnam, to his victory over legacy media-favored candidate Andrew Gillum [in 2018], to his twenty point win over Charlie Crist [in 2022], Governor DeSantis has proven that he knows how to win,” he stated.
“He’s breaking records on fundraising and has a supporting super PAC with $100 million in the bank and an incredible ground game. Get ready,” he added.
Uthmeier’s selection comes on the heels of DeSantis’s brief hiatus from his gubernatorial responsibilities amid campaign struggles. During this time, DeSantis reportedly evaluated his campaign strategy, identifying areas for enhancement and implementation of necessary changes.
Uthmeier’s proven track record as a pivotal figure in DeSantis’s prior victories and his achievements in Florida’s political landscape as a resolute conservative troubleshooter have set the stage for high hopes of his ascendancy.
His storied journey from college sports at the University of Florida to earning a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, along with his tenure as a law clerk in the U.S. Senate and senior advisor in the Trump administration, underscores his exceptional capabilities.
Sources close to the presidential candidate’s operation lavished praise on Uthmeier, recognizing him as “a fighter and principled conservative that understands what it means to lead.”
Peck, the outgoing campaign manager who will continue as chief strategist, also lauded Uthmeier as “the epitome of excellence,” affirming that the campaign is “better for his joining and providing day to day leadership.”
Despite the confidence in Uthmeier’s abilities in DeSantis’ camp, there are concerns regarding the effectiveness of the move as some believe Uthmeier is not the right person for the job given his inexperience when it comes to presidential campaigns.