Light Wave


DeSantis seeks financial backing for anti-opponent super PAC as rival Haley rises, voting nears

By Jake Beardslee · November 27, 2023

In brief…

  • DeSantis is meeting donors to support new anti-opponent super PAC Fight Right as he struggles in polls
  • Existing pro-DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down has faced infighting and CEO resignation
  • New group already spent nearly $1 million attacking rising GOP rival Nikki Haley
  • Memo from DeSantis campaign manager lays out vision of PACs providing air and ground support
  • With voting nearing, governor has lost ground nationally and in early states to Haley
DeSantis is working to gain financial backing for a new super PAC to attack his opponents, particularly Nikki Haley, as he tries to regain lost momentum two months before voting begins.  Tom Williams/Wikimedia

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is meeting this week with wealthy Republican donors to garner support for a new pro-DeSantis super PAC called “Fight Right,” according to a memo from his campaign manager. The group, formed this month, will focus solely on TV ads attacking DeSantis’ opponents in the 2024 GOP presidential primary.

The memo states that “Fight Right exists for one purpose: to shed light on the failed records and leadership of Governor DeSantis’ opponents,” according to a report from ABC News. This comes as DeSantis has struggled in polls, with many Republican voters continuing to support rival Donald Trump despite his legal issues. DeSantis’ existing super PAC, “Never Back Down,” has also faced recent turmoil, including infighting among leaders and the resignation of its CEO.

Sources say tensions within Never Back Down flared over how to blunt the momentum of former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who is positioning herself as the main Trump alternative. Fight Right has already spent nearly $1 million attacking Haley in Iowa.

The new super PAC is intended to provide “air support” complementing Never Back Down’s “ground game,” according to the memo from DeSantis’ campaign manager. With voting beginning in under two months, DeSantis continues to lose ground to Haley nationally and in key early states.

The memo seems to send an indirect message about how the outside groups can aid DeSantis within coordination rules. His campaign manager also touts Never Back Down as “the largest Iowa turnout machine in history.”