By Gram Slattery
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two influential figures within the primary super PAC backing Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign have exited the organization, according to sources familiar with the situation. Internal disagreements among the Florida governor’s supporters are escalating in the lead-up to the initial Republican nominating contests.
Both Kristin Davison, CEO of the Never Back Down super PAC, and Erin Perrine, the communications director, have left the group, the sources, who chose to remain anonymous, confirmed.
Davison took on the role less than two weeks ago, succeeding the former CEO of Never Back Down in late November.
In a statement, Never Back Down spokesperson Jess Szymanski announced that long-time DeSantis ally Scott Wagner would assume the position of CEO.
Politico first reported Davison’s departure, while Semafor was first to report Perrine’s exit.
The ongoing turmoil at Never Back Down, widely known as NBD, poses a significant challenge for DeSantis as the group has been essential in supporting the Florida governor’s electoral endeavors. As a super PAC, NBD can accept unlimited donations, but cannot directly coordinate with the campaign.
Several sources familiar with the situation stated that senior campaign officials have increasingly lost faith in NBD in recent months. DeSantis’ allies have since formed a new Super PAC called Fight Right, which focuses on criticizing former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, who has surpassed DeSantis in some crucial states.
Both DeSantis and Haley are trailing former President Donald Trump by over 40 points in most national polls for the Republican presidential nomination.
Davison could not be reached for immediate comment, while Perrine did not respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)