DeSantis lets go of more than a third of campaign staff as reset continues

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Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign is expanding the number of staff it's cutting to include more than a third of his payroll as the Florida governor looks to get his primary bid back on track.

The cuts, which were confirmed by advisers, will amount to a total of 38 jobs shed across an array of departments. They will include the roughly 10 event planning positions that were announced several weeks ago, in addition to the recent departures of two senior DeSantis campaign advisers, Dave Abrams and Tucker Obenshain.

“Following a top-to-bottom review of our organization, we have taken additional, aggressive steps to streamline operations and put Ron DeSantis in the strongest position to win this primary and defeat Joe Biden,” DeSantis campaign manager Generra Peck said in a statement. “Gov. DeSantis is going to lead the Great American Comeback and we’re ready to hit the ground running as we head into an important month of the campaign.”

The expanded cuts are the latest sign that the Florida governor’s team is pivoting to a slim-down operation amid concerns over their finances. The campaign announced it had raised $20 million during the second quarter of this year. But it had spent a good chunk of that money. Much of the sum it raised, moreover, came from donors who had given the maximum amount and could not give again.

According to recent federal filings, the campaign counted 90-plus staffers on its payroll through the end of June.

During a donor retreat in Deer Valley, Utah, last week, Peck acknowledged that the campaign had overspent in some areas and that further adjustments would need to be made. Advisers also outlined plans for DeSantis — who has been criticized for overseeing a bloated operation — to reposition himself as an insurgent underdog. They also said they would aim to reduce costs by doing smaller, more intimate events and cutting down its travel expenditures.

Some aides will be leaving the campaign but not the broader effort to elect DeSantis. Both Abrams and Obenshain are expected to help an outside pro-DeSantis group.

But in a further indication that the campaign is looking to tighten its belt, the campaign is naming Carl Sceusa its chief financial officer. Sceusa is also serving as chief technology officer.

The campaign has made other staff changes in recent weeks. Ethan Eilon, the digital director, has been named deputy campaign manager. Cody Hall, a top political adviser to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, has been added as senior communications advisor. Andrew Romeo, who had been the campaign spokesperson, has been elevated to communications director.