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CEO of pro-DeSantis super PAC worked on a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle within view of staffers days before the Iowa caucuses, which the Florida governor lost

DeSantis
Ron DeSantis in Dubuque, Iowa, on January 14, 2024.Win McNamee/Getty Images
  • Days before DeSantis' loss in Iowa, his main super PAC CEO was captured working on a puzzle, per NBC News.

  • While staffers worked in a West Des Moines office for Never Back Down, Scott Wagner stood over the puzzle.

  • DeSantis had hoped to win the Iowa caucuses, but came in a distant 2nd place to ex-President Trump.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made a big bet on winning Iowa as he charted out a path for capturing the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

DeSantis' campaign and his affiliated super PAC, Never Back Down, crisscrossed Iowa for months to rally support, hopeful that DeSantis would make a compelling case against former President Donald Trump, who remained popular with conservatives in the state.

But shortly before the Iowa caucuses, DeSantis had a significant polling deficit against Trump, and had seen his support decline so much that he looked to be in a neck-and-neck race for second place with former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

And in the days before the caucuses, Never Back Down CEO Scott Wagner was photographed poring over a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle as the super PAC's staffers worked on their laptops around him in a West Des Moines office, according to a NBC News report.

In those critical few days before the caucuses, Wagner spent a chunk of time working on the puzzle, which when completed would reveal a serene landscape.

"Staffers are putting their dedication and devotion to electing Gov. DeSantis and they come in and the CEO, the chairman of the organization, is sitting there working on a puzzle for hours," a Never Back Down staffer told NBC News.

In response to the NBC News report, Wagner said that the puzzle morphed into "a sense of pride for the entire team" and noted that other staffers also worked on it.

"The operation worked nearly 24/7 throughout for the Gov and was absolutely seamless," he continued. "I am so proud of what we achieved in Iowa and will achieve beyond."

Trump came in first in the Iowa caucuses, capturing 51% of the vote, compared to DeSantis' 21% percent share. Haley came in third place, securing 19% of the vote.

Read the original article on Business Insider