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The DeSantis Endorsement-ghazi Blame Game

Florida governor Ron DeSantis.
Florida governor Ron DeSantis. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images
Tara Palmeri
April 20, 2023

Poor Ryan Tyson. That’s the name I keep hearing from Tallahassee insiders as DeSantis-world reels from the tidal wave of Florida congressmen endorsing Trump over their own governor. Tyson, a top pollster and advisor to DeSantis (who allegedly “never conducts polls”) was deputized to try to shore up support among the Florida delegation for DeSantis ahead of his high-profile visit to Washington this week, following the traumatic defection of Rep. Byron Donalds to Trump. (He and his wife Erika are good friends with Casey and Ron, who offered their support if he wanted to be chairman of the party’s state G.O.P.)

Alas, Tyson wasn’t very successful, because seven more members of the Florida delegation chose to endorse Trump instead—including Reps. Matt Gaetz, Anna Paulina Luna, Brian Mast, Greg Steube, Cory Mills, Vern Buchanan and John Rutherford. The main gripe was that DeSantis didn’t personally make the calls, but left it to Tyson. “Part of the problem with Tyson is that nobody knew who the fuck he was,” said one G.O.P. advisor to a member of Congress who was called. Tyson declined to comment.