CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE — Ron DeSantis and his team were involved in a car accident this morning while traveling to an event in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but the governor still plans to make his scheduled fundraising appearances today.
“He and his team are uninjured. We appreciate the prayers and well wishes of the nation for his continued protection while on the campaign trail,” campaign press secretary Bryan Griffin said.
“The motorcade came up on slow traffic and the lead vehicle had to brake quickly, which caused a rear-end collision involving the other vehicles,” Chattanooga’s police department confirmed. “All the vehicles involved were government vehicles accompanying Governor DeSantis and his team to his scheduled event.”
“Governor DeSantis was not hurt and continued on to the event,” the police release said. “A female staffer did suffer a minor injury, but continued on to the event and was treated there.”
DeSantis is set to attend three fundraisers in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Franklin, Tennessee today before heading to Iowa on Thursday to participate in a bus tour for Never Back Down, the primary super PAC backing his presidential bid.
Over the weekend, DeSantis’ campaign manager Generra Peck appeared before the campaign’s top contributors in Deer Valley, Utah, and spoke about the recent campaign shift, according to Politico.
The reboot will focus on a leaner, “insurgent” posture that will expose voters to DeSantis more and “Let Ron be Ron,” according to Nick Iarossi, a lobbyist and fundraiser who attended the event.
In Utah on Friday, DeSantis teased two upcoming policy rollouts on the economy and national security.
“We’re going to put together the vision for the economy. Some of it will be based on all the success we’ve had in Florida, of course, but there’s a lot more to do when you talk about our national economy. So we look forward to being able to articulate that vision that I think has been sorely lacking in this country,” DeSantis said.
“China’s economy, even though it’s slowed, it’s still growing faster than ours. And they’re going to surpass us if we don’t change course here,” DeSantis said about the CCPs efforts to dominate the world. “And the tragedy of it is it’s been U.S. policy that’s really put China on the road to having all this power.”
SUPER PAC SUPPORT
As the official campaign leans out, Never Back Down – which raised more than $100 million – is planning a bus tour that will take DeSantis through Iowa with stops in Chariton, Osceola and Oskaloosa ahead of his speech at a GOP Lincoln Dinner in the Hawkeye State on Friday.
The super PAC says it will ramp up operations in Iowa by opening a network of five offices by the end of the month and work to host more events for the Florida Governor to attend.
“Never Back Down is laser-focused on amplifying the governor’s message through door-knocking, collecting caucus commitments and hosting events for him to participate in, and we’ll continue growing all of those efforts over the next several months,” Never Back Down spokesperson Jessica Szymanski said.
DeSantis has held ten public events in Iowa since he announced his bid for president, far surpassing Trump’s two events in the state. But some Iowa Republicans say DeSantis needs to spend more time in the early state to win over the supporters needed to overtake the former president.
The Des Moines Register reported that Iowa Republican operatives and activists are “not panicked about the state of DeSantis’ campaign, but they did urge him to spend more time in Iowa and at smaller events.”
Never Back Down plans to host DeSantis on additional bus tours throughout New Hampshire, South Carolina and other states in the following months.