Head Of DeSantis Super PAC Steps Down

Chris Jankowski, the CEO of Never Back Down PAC, the leading super PAC supporting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ presidential bid, has stepped down from his role. This development comes amid growing tensions between the super PAC group and DeSantis’ campaign team.

Jankowski confirmed to CBS News that he submitted his resignation to the Never Back Down PAC’s board, and it took immediate effect. The catalyst for his departure appears to be a series of attack ads launched by the PAC against former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, which unexpectedly backfired in recent polling, as reported by NBC News.

In a statement addressing his resignation, Jankowski expressed his commitment to the shared goal of electing Ron DeSantis as the 47th President of the United States.

“Never Back Down’s main goal and sole focus has been to elect Governor Ron DeSantis as President. Given the current environment it has become untenable for me to deliver on the shared goal and that goes well beyond a difference of strategic opinion,” he said, adding, “For the future of our country I support and pray Ron DeSantis is our 47th president,”

Never Back Down PAC has played a pivotal role in DeSantis’ campaign since its inception in May, raising substantial funds and serving as an aggressive advocate for the Florida governor. However, despite its efforts, DeSantis has not been able to establish himself as the primary challenger to former President Donald Trump’s dominance within the crowded GOP pool, which also includes Haley, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Frustration has been brewing within the ranks of Never Back Down, as reported by NBC News. A recent heated exchange between strategist Jeff Roe and long-time supporter Scott Wagner at the PAC’s Atlanta headquarters highlighted disagreements over the PAC’s strategic direction. According to The New York Post, the exchange was so intense that Wagner had to be held back from physically attacking Roe amid a shouting match.

Per NBC News, DeSantis and his wife, Casey DeSantis, are frustrated with the leadership of Never Back Down. The governor has pinned his campaign’s hopes on Iowa, successfully securing endorsements from Gov. Kim Reynolds and influential evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats. However, he continues to lag behind Trump in national polling, with Haley emerging as a formidable contender for the second spot.

An Emerson College poll this week showed Trump widening his lead to 64%, a five-point increase since the previous month. In the same survey, Haley surged to 9% support, surpassing DeSantis, who currently stands at 8%.