Politico reports that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has had up to seven aides quit in the last day. Some of these aides have been on DeSantis’ staff since his 2018 campaign. This is very strange!
No one is sure what’s going on. Some sources say this is a normal transition period for DeSantis, as a relatively new governor. Others say that it’s a crisis.
“It sounds like it’s the Saturday night massacre,” a lobbyist who is familiar with the situation told Politico. “There is a lot going on over there, and everyone is kind of wondering what is next.”
DeSantis camp declined to comment for Politico’s piece. After it was published, spokeswoman Helen Aguirre Ferré said only five people have left, contradicting claims from some of Politico’s sources.
“After the first session, it’s normal to undergo a reorganization in preparation for off-session work with agencies and prepare for the next legislative session,” Gaetz told Politico.
Justin Caporale, DeSantis’ director of external affairs, and a former Trump campaign staffer, is part of the exodus.
“This was always a temporary landing spot for Justin,” a source that the article described as a “Republican political observer who knows Caporale,” told Politico. “He had always planned to leave the end of June and go back to his company to work for the 2020 cycle.”
The person added that “to have that many governor’s office staff told they are out of jobs and the same day be out isn’t generally how that goes.”
Caporale could apparently get on people’s nerves.
“He clashed with some other staffers in the office, which had become a problem,” a veteran Republican lobbyist told Politico. “He is a pro, but there was some tension there.”
The turmoil in DeSantis office is unexpected, considering how successful he’s been in passing legislation and pushing back on reforms. He has passed several laws, including one that allows teachers to carry guns at school, banned sanctuary cities, and successfully limited the impact of a ballot measure that would have restored voting rights to the state’s 1.4 million former felons.
But it seems even a big bad Republican like DeSantis can be plagued by internal difficulties with his staff. Better luck with your next round of hires, Ron.