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In major shakeup, DeSantis names new campaign manager

James Uthmeier replaces Generra Peck, who will now serve as chief strategist for the DeSantis presidential campaign.
Posted at 1:52 PM, Aug 08, 2023

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is retooling his 2024 presidential campaign. Scripps News confirmed that DeSantis' chief of staff, James Uthmeier, has been named as campaign manager. He replaces Generra Peck, who will now serve as chief strategist for the campaign. 

The change comes as DeSantis has failed to make a dent in former President Donald Trump's lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

In the New York Times/Siena College poll, Trump leads DeSantis by 37 points nationally. The Florida governor is solidly in second place, polling at 17%. There's a three-way tie for third place between former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Tim Scott and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who all have 3% support. 

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DeSantis' decision to replace his campaign manager comes as he's attempted a reboot of sorts. He's laid off about a third of his staff amid financial troubles, according to The Associated Press.

The Florida governor's tone has also shifted in recent days, going after Trump more directly. 

In an interview with NBC News, DeSantis rejected Trump's claims that he was the rightful winner of the 2020 presidential election. 

"Of course he lost," DeSantis said about Trump. "Joe Biden’s the president."

DeSantis has attempted to convince voters that he would be a better option than Trump, claiming he would be a more formidable opponent to Joe Biden in the general election. However, a Morning Consult poll from Aug. 1 shows Biden beating DeSantis by 6 points and Trump by 3 points in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup. 

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