Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) top spokesperson is moving over to his reelection campaign.
Christina Pushaw began working for the governor’s office as DeSantis’s press secretary a little more than a year ago, but in that time she’s earned a reputation among Florida politicos and journalists for her combative online presence and frequent squabbling with reporters and virtually anyone willing to criticize her boss.
Pushaw also faced intense scrutiny earlier this summer after The Washington Post reported that she had registered as a foreign agent because of previous work she had done on behalf of the president of Georgia. DeSantis defended her in the face of the criticism, calling it a “smear” against his press secretary.
Her decision to resign her post in the governor’s office to work on the campaign side wasn’t a surprise. Pushaw retweeted a copy of her resignation letter on Friday along with a brief remark: “Now, the gloves are off.”
The Florida Standard, a conservative news site in the state, first reported Pushaw’s resignation.
She’s expected to serve as the director of rapid response for DeSantis’s reelection campaign, a position that will almost certainly allow her to reprise her role as the governor’s most aggressive defender. Bryan Griffin, the deputy press secretary for DeSantis’s office, will replace Pushaw as the press secretary at the governor’s office.
DeSantis himself is a polarizing figure. He became a rising star among conservatives in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic for his pushback against federal public health experts and his disdain for coronavirus-related restrictions.
Democrats, meanwhile, have sought to cast DeSantis as a fringe political figure with an “authoritarian streak,” arguing that he’s pushed the limits of his power to punish his critics and implement a hard-line agenda.
Still, he appears in a solid position to win a second term in the governor’s mansion in November. He faces no primary opposition and polling shows him leading both of his top Democratic challengers, Rep. Charlie Crist and state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.