Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) hired his chief of staff as his new campaign manager. James Uthmeier is replacing Generra Peck as the Republican 2024 primary candidate hopes to bolster his second-place position behind former President Donald Trump.
The decision places a longtime ally in the position several months before the first 2024 nominating contests. The new head of DeSantis’ campaign previously served as an attorney for the Trump administration and a law clerk in the United States Senate.
Uthmeier will also join David Polyansky, who was hired as the campaign’s second-in-command.
The new campaign manager entered into the fray on an optimistic note, stating, “People have written Governor DeSantis’s obituary many times.”
He cited several cases of DeSantis’ comeback wins, including victories in House elections and his 2018 campaign for governor.
Uthmeier wrote that the Florida governor “knows how to win.”
“He’s breaking records on fundraising and has a supporting super PAC with $100 million in the bank and an incredible ground game,” Uthmeier said of DeSantis. “Get ready.”
Uthmeier was also praised by DeSantis’ outgoing campaign manager. Peck called him “the best of the best.”
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DeSantis’ campaign said that 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.”
The campaign wrote that it was “excited about these additions as we continue to spread the governor’s message across the country.”
The decision did not receive universal praise. A spokesperson for the super PAC MAGA Inc., which is supporting the former president, said that DeSantis had “delivered a political hat trick today and it’s not even lunchtime. The only problem? All three goals were scored on himself.”
The personnel shift’s implications are still unclear but signal DeSantis’ willingness to adjust course just weeks before the first official Republican primary debate.