Youngkin 2024 speculation dampened as top adviser signs with DeSantis PAC

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Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin. (AP Photo/John C. Clark, File)

Youngkin 2024 speculation dampened as top adviser signs with DeSantis PAC

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Buzz about Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R-VA) interest in diving into the 2024 election scrum is fading after a top adviser joined a group aligned with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL).

Jeff Roe, who co-founded Axiom Strategies, a Republican political consulting firm, has signed on with Never Back Down, a DeSantis-aligned political action committee expected to be a boost for the Florida governor’s potential 2024 presidential campaign, according to multiple reports.

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Axiom Strategies helped Youngkin eke out a victory in a strongly blue state back in 2021, which fueled Republican hopes that they would surf a red wave in the midterm elections that failed to materialize. Roe told confidants that he felt loyalty to Youngkin and anticipated Axiom would only work for one 2024 candidate, the Washington Post reported.

Youngkin stoked speculation that he is harboring presidential aspirations by crisscrossing the country during the run-up to the midterm elections and stumping for Republican candidates locked in contentious races. Some of those states included early primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire.

Roe, who also served as a top strategist for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) during his 2016 campaign, previously conveyed his belief that the 2024 GOP primary was a two-man race.

“This is a two-person race between Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis. Nearly 75% of the voters have chosen between those two,” Roe told Fox News Sunday last month. “A lot of people were talking about a crazy barroom brawl. I don’t think so at all … there’s simply no room — for a third and fourth or even fifth person in this race.”

He later clarified that those remarks were not intended to diminish Youngkin, who is term-limited as governor.

On top of traversing key states, Youngkin has also maintained a robust national portfolio in conservative circles. Next month, he is set to attend a welcome reception for the Heritage Foundation’s 50th leadership summit, which spans April 20-21.

Youngkin is also slated to head to Texas to be a guest of honor at an event held by a billionaire Republican donor, in a trip that is set to coincide with a speech at former President George W. Bush’s presidential library, NBC reported.

While stopping short of ruling out a run, Youngkin has seemingly downplayed his aspirations. During a recent donor retreat appearance, Youngkin appeared uninterested in feeding speculation about 2024, per the Washington Post.

Polling has consistently indicated that he is trailing former President Donald Trump and DeSantis by a considerable margin, failing to broach double digits.

https://twitter.com/MorningConsult/status/1638152935908470785?s=20

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Never Back Down was launched earlier this month by Ken Cuccinelli, who served as the attorney general of Virginia between 2010 and 2014. The group intends to serve as a financial springboard for DeSantis’s potential presidential campaign. DeSantis has indicated that a campaign announcement could come sometime after the Florida legislature wraps up its business in May.

The Washington Examiner contacted Roe for comment.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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