Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) has stepped down as chairman of the pro-DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down, according to a spokesperson from the group.
The New York Times was the first outlet to report on the development.
“After nearly 26 straight months of being in a full-scale campaign, I need to return my time and attention to my family and law practice,” Laxalt wrote in a Nov. 26 letter to the group’s board, according to a letter obtained by the Times.
Laxalt added he is still supporting DeSantis’s 2024 presidential bid.
DeSantis’s campaign responded to news of Laxalt’s departure from the PAC in a statement saying “the collective firepower of Team DeSantis remains unmatched.”
“As the last three Iowa Caucus winners have shown, it takes a combination of hard work, air support, and grassroots organizing to win. Never Back Down boasts an impressive field operation and ground game,” said David Polyansky, DeSantis’s deputy campaign manager. “Working alongside their independent efforts, we will all celebrate hitting our 99th Iowa County tomorrow and carry the support of the most robust turnout operation in modern Iowa history into success on January 15.”
Laxalt, who is a personal friend of DeSantis, had been working with Never Back Down since April, before the governor formally launched his campaign.
The move is a major loss for the super PAC. Last month, Chris Jankowski resigned as the group’s chief executive officer, citing the PAC’s environment.
“Never Back Down’s main goal and sole focus has been to elect Governor Ron DeSantis as President. Given the current environment it has become untenable for me to deliver on the shared goal and that goes well beyond a difference of strategic opinion,” Jankowski said.
The news of Jankowski’s departure followed an NBC News report of a heated argument among members of Never Back Down during a budgeting discussion. It also came amid the creation of the newest pro-DeSantis super PAC Fight Right, which received a $1 million infusion.
The developments come as GOP presidential campaigns enter the final stretch ahead of the Iowa caucuses in January.
Prior to getting into the race, DeSantis was seen as the top alternative to take on former President Trump in the Republican primary. However, DeSantis has yet to overtake Trump in the polls, and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has moved closer to his second place perch — and she has overtaken him in some state-level polls.