A high-powered leadership team, including senior communications aides involved in former President Donald Trump's 2020 bid for the White House, is being put together by an independent PAC supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for president, The Washington Post is reporting.
The group, Never Back Down, also includes top strategists to Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz's 2016 presidential campaign and a top adviser to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin's 2021 campaign.
The PAC is funded by former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who served as acting deputy secretary of Homeland Security from 2019 to 2021.
The Post said the hiring of the leadership team is an indication the PAC's central role in the upcoming fight for the Republican nomination for president if DeSantis chooses to run.
Never Back Down will be able to accept donations of unlimited value and transfers from DeSantis' state political committee, according to the newspaper.
While past presidential super PAC'S have traditionally focused almost exclusively on television and digital advertising, Never Back Down is expected to play a bigger role.
Attributing the information to multiple sources, the Post noted Phil Cox, a senior adviser to DeSantis' 2022 reelection bid, will serve as senior adviser to the PAC.
Axiom Strategies president Jeff Roe, who the Post called the architect of the 2016 Cruz campaign and the 2021 Youngkin campaign, will work with him.
Kristin Davison, a top adviser to Youngkin, is joining the group as chief operating officer, working with Chris Jankowski — a Virginia strategist who has worked with Cox — who will be chief executive.
Chris Wilson, a pollster at WPA Intelligence, will head up the data efforts for Never Back Down. Wilson had worked on Youngkin's gubernatorial campaign, and also worked as director of research, analytics and digital strategy for the 2016 Cruz presidential campaign, the Post said.
David Polyansky, Axiom's chief strategy officer, is also joining Never Back Down as a senior adviser. He had worked as an adviser to the 2016 GOP presidential campaign of former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. He also was a top adviser to the Cruz presidential campaign.
Two former communications, advisers to Trump, Matt Wolking and Erin Perrine, are also joining the group.
"Winning back the White House will take a leader unlike any this nation has seen, and that leader is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis," Jankowski said. "Never Back Down is the movement to get him there, and the team we've assembled is strong, with a depth of political experience to make history. 2024 is not 2016 — it's a new day in the Republican Party."
DeSantis' office did not responded to a request for comment from the Post.
Meanwhile, Cuccinelli said earlier in March: "With the launch of Never Back Down PAC, a name that captures the Florida governor's indefatigable character, we are asking Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., to launch a campaign for the White House.
"We feel if he runs, he'll win."
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