Becoming the talk of the Republican Party, if not the nation, Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis is gearing up for a battle for reelection in 2022, hiring a top operative to run his campaign.
Phil Cox will lead the way for DeSantis as a senior adviser, according to Politico.
Cox is a veteran national Republican strategist and the former executive director of the Republican Governors Association. He holds close relationships with the top GOP governors in the U.S.
"Phil is an incredibly talented and trusted operative who has played a key role in dozens of successful gubernatorial campaigns over the last decade," current RGA Executive Director Dave Rexrode wrote in a statement, Politico reported.
"Gov. DeSantis is well positioned heading into his reelection campaign, and Phil is an excellent addition to his operation."
DeSantis has reportedly kept his inner circle small until now, but becoming a leading name in the Republican Party puts a target on him for reelection, according to Politico.
Florida state agriculture commissioner Nikki Fried is the leading Democrat opposition for his reelection and might be expected to get strong support in one of the nation's biggest battleground states.
DeSantis' 2018 victory was by less than a half of a percentage point.
He has since risen in prominence amid Florida's COVID-19 pandemic response mitigating health and economic struggles unlike most large states that are popular among Democrat voters.
Among a straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference this winter, DeSantis was the leading name to run for president in 2024. DeSantis has yet to make a presidential run a goal, instead focusing on the 2022 gubernatorial reelection.
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