Ron DeSantis ground game begins as PAC staffs up in South Carolina

A super PAC supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and encouraging him to run for President has hired a prominent Charleston-based consultant and a Republican who may be able to curry favor among evangelicals, according to the Post and Courier. 

The PAC, Never Back Down, has tapped Michael Mulé as an advisor and Randy Page as a state director.

Mulé will establish the broader strategy in the Palmetto state while Page will manage day-to-day operations. 

DeSantis has not yet officially entered the 2024 presidential race, but is expected to do so sometime after Florida’s Legislative Session, which is set to conclude this week. 

Mulé has worked on state and local races in more than a dozen states. He’s most well known for his work on Katie Arrington’s 2018 congressional campaign, which saw her oust incumbent GOP U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford in a blistering Republican Primary that, like so many others, put loyalty to then-President Donald Trump at the center of debate.

Arrington went on to lose to Joe Cunningham in the General Election, which marked the first time in nearly four decades the district had gone blue.

Page currently serves as Chief of Staff at the private evangelical school, Bob Jones University, in Greenville. It’s a hot bed for politicking among Republican candidates. 

The writing was on the wall that both would be joining the DeSantis effort. Florida’s Governor made his first quasi-official stop in South Carolina last week, during which Mulé was in attendance. Two days after that stop, Page tendered his resignation at Bob Jones University, indicating his final day is May 7, according to the Post and Courier. 

Never Back Down has been ramping up outreach in South Carolina, including meetings with conservative donors and influencers locally.

They’re also spending money in the state, funding a six-page mailer and a statewide television ad airing this week. The ad is part of a seven-figure buy targeting the first four states on the GOP Primary calendar — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

DeSantis trails Trump in most polls, in South Carolina and elsewhere. The Post and Courier reports a recent Winthrop University Poll of GOP voters showed DeSantis with just 20% support, to Trump’s 41%.

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