WASHINGTON — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was in a multi-car accident today as he traveled in a motorcade to campaign events in Tennessee for his 2024 presidential bid but was uninjured.
Traffic slowed down and caused four cars in the motorcade to hit each other, Chattanooga, Tenn., police told WTVC-TV. One staff member suffered a minor injury, police said.
The Republican White House hopeful and his team “are uninjured,” campaign press secretary Bryan Griffin told The Associated Press.
Representatives for DeSantis’ campaign did not answer questions about who was driving the governor or reveal details about the accident. DeSantis was continuing on to his event, spokesman Andrew Romeo said. A spokesman for the Florida governor’s office deferred questions about the accident to the campaign.
DeSantis was scheduled to hold events throughout central and eastern Tennessee, where he has been focusing a lot of attention in his recent campaigning. Earlier this month, he addressed more than 1,800 attendees at a state GOP dinner in Nashville.
The Florida governor, who has trailed front-runner Donald Trump in the GOP presidential contest, was expected to be at fundraiser at a private home in Chattanooga today. Hosts for the fundraiser were to pay $10,000 per couple for the event, while co-hosts were paying $5,000 and other attendees were paying $2,000 each, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
DeSantis was expected to attend additional fundraisers today in Knoxville and Franklin.
The Republican candidate has been attending a string of fundraisers lately as his campaign has faced some surprising financial pressures. He was in Utah over the weekend holding fundraisers and in New York last week for an event in the Hamptons.
Just two months after entering the race, DeSantis already has been cutting staff while facing new questions about his aggressive spending, his media strategy and his apparent willingness to brawl with any and all foes except for Trump, the one person he must defeat to claim the GOP’s 2024 presidential nomination.
“The DeSantis campaign is recalibrating. It’s clear it needs to,” said Republican strategist Terry Sullivan, who managed Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign. “But at the end of the day, they’re still better positioned than any other challenger to Donald Trump, times 10.”
DeSantis’ team has quietly expressed confidence for months that voters would eventually tire of Trump’s escalating legal troubles and personal baggage. But that same baggage, playing out in the U.S. legal system just as the GOP primary intensifies, is leaving precious little oxygen for his rivals to break through. And Trump’s standing with Republican primary voters seems to be growing stronger with every new legal challenge.
Still, DeSantis’ team has raised a stunning $150 million for his presidential ambitions so far. The vast majority, $130 million, has gone to a super PAC run by allies who cannot legally coordinate with the campaign.
The DeSantis campaign itself raised more than $20 million in the first six weeks he was in the race, though recently released federal filings revealed that he and his team had burned through more than $8 million in a spending spree that included more than 100 paid staffers, a large security detail and luxury travel.