Alums of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, are quickly aligning themselves with Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis’ expected 2024 presidential campaign. And that doesn't surprise DeSantis' lone congressional backer.
“All I know is that talent seeks talent,” Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, said of Cruz veterans joining a pro-DeSantis group in an interview earlier this week.
“Presidential candidates are going to draw a lot of talented people. I’m a little biased but I think Sen. Cruz had a highly talented campaign in 2016,” Roy added in an interview earlier this week. “So it’s not too surprising that there’s a decent number of smart Cruz folks thinking about working for Gov. DeSantis.”
The moves are significant given that Cruz aggressively battled Donald Trump in a nasty presidential primary in 2016. Now some of those former Cruz people want to see DeSantis derail Trump’s political comeback next year.
Earlier this month, Roy, who previously served as Cruz’s chief of staff, became the first GOP lawmaker to endorse DeSantis for president.
Now others in the Cruz orbit are joining the effort. Veteran GOP strategist Jeff Roe, campaign manager for Cruz’s 2016 presidential bid, is joining the pro-DeSantis Never Back Down PAC. And Erin Perrine, who served as Cruz’s Senate communications director in 2021, will be handling communications for the DeSantis PAC; she also held a top communications role for Trump’s 2020 campaign for reelection.
Cruz's pollster, Chris Wilson, is also joining the group. And David Polyansky, a senior adviser to Cruz’s 2016 campaign who later served as his Senate chief of staff, will be a senior adviser to the DeSantis PAC, according to a GOP source familiar with the PAC.
DeSantis has not yet announced he’s running for president but Roy and many others close to the popular governor said they expect him to take on Trump.
“I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t” run, Roy said.
Cruz passed on challenging Trump in 2024 and is focusing on winning re-election to his Senate seat in Texas.