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Pro-DeSantis Super PAC Hit With More Departures, as Turmoil Among Allies Intensifies

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A pair of key figures at the main super PAC supporting Ron DeSantis’ presidential bid have left the organization, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, as internal squabbles among the Florida governor’s allies intensify in the weeks before the first Republican nominating contests.

Kristin Davison, the chief executive officer of the Never Back Down super PAC, and Erin Perrine, the communications director, have parted ways with the group, said the sources, who requested anonymity to discuss personnel matters.

Davison was on the job for less than two weeks, after replacing the former chief executive of Never Back Down in late November.

In a statement, Never Back Down spokesperson Jess Szymanski said long-time DeSantis ally Scott Wagner would now take over as CEO.

“Scott Wagner will now serve as Chairman of the Board and interim CEO of Never Back Down,” she said.

Davison’s departure was first reported by Politico and Perrine’s exit was first reported by Semafor.

The ongoing drama at Never Back Down, known widely as NBD, is a serious issue for DeSantis, as the group has played a critical role supporting the Florida governor’s election efforts. As a super PAC, NBD can receive donations of unlimited size, but cannot coordinate with the campaign directly.

Senior campaign officials have increasingly lost confidence in NBD over the last few months, according to several people familiar with the dynamic. DeSantis allies recently formed a new Super PAC, dubbed Fight Right, which is focusing on attacks against former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who has overtaken DeSantis in some key states.

Both DeSantis and Haley trail former President Donald Trump in the race for the Republican presidential nomination by over 40 points in most national polls.

Davison could not immediately be reached for comment, while Perrine did not respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.

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