BREAKING: DeSantis campaign manager out, replaced with chief of staff James Uthmeier in latest campaign shakeup

The replacement is the third staff shakeup in less than a month.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has replaced his presidential campaign manager with James Uthmeier, his gubernatorial office’s chief of staff.

The replacement is the third staff shakeup in less than a month, with Uthmeier replacing Generra Peck, who will remain on the campaign as chief strategist, according to The Messenger.

Peck had been in charge of DeSantis’ re-election campaign in 2022, became the subject of criticism on his presidential campaign from DeSantis advisors and donors in mid-July after the campaign stalled and money coming in slowed.

The campaign cut staff and expenses twice and reworked DeSantis’ press strategy, but ultimately donors and some outside advisors were still unsatisfied, leading to DeSantis asking Uthmeier last week to diagnose the problems with his campaign, which resulted in the governor asking Uthmeier to come on to the campaign.

"People have written Governor DeSantis’s obituary many times,” Uthmeier said in a statement to The Messenger. “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’s breaking records on fundraising and has a supporting super PAC with $100 million in the bank and an incredible ground game. Get ready."

David Polyansky will be joining Uthmeier on the campaign as deputy campaign manager. Polyansky is currently serving as an advisor to the Never Back Down super PAC which is backing DeSantis.

Ryan Tyson, the campaign’s senior advisor and pollster, will now have an elevated role alongside Marc Reichelderfer, a campaign advisor.

Replacing Uthmeier in DeSantis’ gubernatorial office as acting chief of staff will be Alex Kelley, who currently serves as Florida’s Secretary of Commerce. 

Uthmeier served as DeSantis’ deputy legal counsel when DeSantis was first sworn into office in 2019, and was soon elevated to chief legal counsel before becoming chief of staff in 2021. 

He led DeSantis’ legal efforts during the pandemic to prohibit mask mandates in local governments, ban vaccine requirements at businesses and reopen schools.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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