(WASHINGTON) — The DeSantis campaign continues to shed staff, with more than a third of its original payroll now laid off, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.
The latest round of cuts were first reported by Politico and confirmed to ABC News by three people familiar, with one source telling ABC News that low- and mid-level staff are the ones being impacted.
The 38 individuals laid off by the campaign include the roughly dozen layoffs announced earlier this month, a round of cuts that saw the departures of the campaign’s media director, Dave Abrams, and Tucker Obenshain, who led external affairs.
As ABC News has previously reported, the DeSantis campaign evaluated it burned through cash too quickly and hired too many people early in the campaign, with FEC documents indicating that 92 staffers worked for the campaign during its first fundraising period. The campaign also spent some $8 million in the first six weeks of the governor’s presidential run, per the documents.
The change in staffing in the DeSantis campaign occurs as the team tries to chart a new path forward for the governor.
“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. “Governor 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.”
In addition to campaign staff being cut, movement is occurring within the DeSantis camp as current staffers take on new roles and leadership positions.
Recently, Ethan Eilon was elevated from his position as digital director to deputy campaign manager. Eilon’s new role, first reported by Bloomberg News, comes as some people close to the campaign blame Peck for the campaign’s current struggles.
Meanwhile, Cody Hall, a top adviser to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, has been brought on as a senior communications adviser and campaign spokesman Andrew Romeo has been moved to communications director, sources tell ABC News.
When asked by ABC News at a press conference last week whether he over-hired, the governor defended his large payroll by saying his campaign does not rely on outside consultants.
“We do everything in house, so yes, some people would not have some of the people we have, but they would also be paying a lot more money for the consultants, who charge a lot,” he said at the press conference, held in Salt Lake City.
“So it’s just a different model of doing more in-house than doing consultants. … You can raise money online, which we’ve done very well at. Do you want to give 10% of the cut to somebody when you’re doing that? No, we’d rather pay salaries for people to perform a function and do it,” he said.
In response to news that DeSantis’ campaign laid off more than a third of its original payroll, an aide to former President Donald Trump told ABC News that the former president will be “staffing up” — notably adding the Trump campaign would potentially be open to hiring some of DeSantis’ laid off staffers.
“President Trump will be staffing up as he moves toward the Republican nomination, and we would never rule out the possibility of some of these folks joining our team.”
ABC News’ Lalee Ibssa and Soo Rin Kim contributed to this report.
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