Florida Governor Ron DeSantis appears to be gearing up for a potential presidential run, as indicated by recent hires and the choice of a finance director for his prospective campaign, according to two sources close to the governor. DeSantis has not yet formally announced his bid, but the recent moves by both his team and Never Back Down PAC, the main outside spending group supporting his potential candidacy, suggest that the governor is moving full steam ahead.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, revealed that Lauren Lofstrom has been appointed to serve as finance director for DeSantis’ political operation. Lofstrom, who previously held the same position for Texas Senator Ted Cruz during his 2016 presidential campaign, has already begun meeting with the governor’s allies to discuss fundraising strategies. Neither Lofstrom nor a spokesperson for DeSantis responded to requests for comment.
This development comes as DeSantis’ main rival, former President Donald Trump, experiences a rise in the polls. According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday, 58% of Republican primary voters support Trump, up from 48% in the previous Reuters/Ipsos poll. DeSantis’ support currently stands at 21%.
Additional key members of DeSantis’ political operation include Jason Johnson, who served as Cruz’s chief strategist in 2016. Several other high-profile operatives supporting DeSantis also have connections to Cruz’s campaign. While Cruz ultimately lost the nomination to Trump, he did win the pivotal state of Iowa and finished second in a crowded field.
A third source mentioned that Roy Bailey, who has been described in news reports as Trump’s former national finance committee co-chairman, is also being considered for a role in DeSantis’ campaign. Bailey did not respond to a request for comment.
These strategic hires demonstrate that DeSantis is serious about his potential presidential run and is assembling a team with experience in high-stakes political campaigns. As the race for the Republican nomination begins to take shape, it remains to be seen how DeSantis’ campaign will fare against Trump’s enduring popularity among GOP voters.