Jeff Roe, main strategist for DeSantis super PAC, resigns

Jeff Roe, chief strategist for “Never Back Down” — the super PAC backing the presidential run of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — resigned from the group on Saturday night. 

Roe is the highest profile staffer to leave the PAC in recent weeks, after several top officials were fired following the arrival of the PAC’s new chairman, Scott Wagner. 

Roe, a seasoned GOP operative who was the architect of the PAC’s ground game operation in Iowa for DeSantis, announced his departure after a politics/2023/12/16/desantis-super-pac-collapse/” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener”>Washington Post story published Saturday contained a statement from Wagner that was critical of some former employees. 

“Following mismanagement and conduct issues, including numerous unauthorized leaks containing false information, senior officials were terminated,” he told the Post. “We don’t have time to indulge false narratives from those with ulterior motives.” 

After a lawyer for the terminated employees contacted Wagner and said his quote was “categorically false,” he sent a revised statement to the Post which read: 

“Following some opinions regarding mismanagement and conduct issues, including some who believed there appeared to be numerous unauthorized leaks containing false information, NBD and some senior officials parted ways.”

Roe then took to social media to announce his “immediate” resignation, writing that he “”cannot in good conscience stay affiliated with Never Back Down given the statements in the Washington Post today. They are not true and an unwanted distraction at a critical time for Governor DeSantis.”

“This is a team of political warriors and their grind and dedication over the last nine months has helped put Governor Ron DeSantis in a strong position,” Roe added. 

Polls show DeSantis trailing former President Donald Trump by a considerable margin in Iowa, the first state in the GOP nominating contest. Polls also show him trailing Trump and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in New Hampshire.

Late Saturday night, Trump posted on his Truth Social platform that “Jeff Row is out – GAME OVER for DeSanctimonious.” 

“DeSanctimonious” is the disparaging nickname that Trump has used in reference to DeSantis throughout the campaign season. 

Roe was the campaign manager for Sen. Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign, as well as Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s 2021 presidential campaign. 

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