To encourage Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to run for president, a prominent Republican operative who served as an adviser on Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s successful campaign has joined up with a super PAC.
According to someone familiar with the agreement but not permitted to speak publicly, Jeff Roe will be an advisor to Never Back Down. Roe oversaw the 2016 presidential campaign of Texas Senator Ted Cruz and has provided political advice to many other GOP officials, including former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, who resigned after being accused of sexual misconduct and campaign violations.
Late on Wednesday, a message seeking comment from Roe received no immediate response.
DeSantis is preparing for an anticipated 2024 Republican presidential campaign and working to establish a campaign infrastructure to support a prospective run when he makes the decision.
Youngkin, who prompted rumors of a potential presidential run when he garnered notice by defeating Democratic former Gov. Terry McAuliffe in 2021, was unsure of what a senior strategist’s resignation would entail. Politico initially covered Roe’s new position.
Youngkin’s political advisors did not answer requests for comment made Wednesday night regarding Roe’s action and if it has any ramifications for the governor.
Youngkin hasn’t openly ruled out a run, and some of his actions, like his traveling the nation to support GOP candidates in the midterm elections last year, have increased the rumor.
He recently met with funders in New York and appeared in a CNN prime-time town hall earlier this month.
Former Virginia attorney general and former secretary of homeland security under former president Donald Trump, Ken Cuccinelli, is the leader of the pro-DeSantis super PAC.
This month, Cuccinelli has been visiting states with early voting to forge essential alliances that could hopefully assist him if DeSantis decides to run in 2024.
Roe had been adamant that Youngkin could compete in the GOP primary against Trump and former UN ambassador Nikki Haley as recently as last week. As the only Republican governor elected in Virginia in more than ten years, Roe referred to Youngkin as “a unicorn in American politics” in an interview.
Nevertheless, those remarks were made the day after Roe on Fox News described the contest as a “two-person fight between Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis,” adding that “there’s simply no room for a third, fourth, or even fifth person in this race.”
Roe has previously worked for a cause as opposed to someone he had previously supported. He guided the then-Missouri Attorney General’s Senate campaign in 2022.