Gov. Ron DeSantis in car accident on his way to Tennessee campaign event

Republican presidential candidate, team uninjured after Chattanooga crash
Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during the Tennessee Republican Party Statesmen's Dinner, Saturday, July 15, 2023 in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)
Posted at 10:07 AM, Jul 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-25 15:42:11-04

WASHINGTON — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was in a car accident Tuesday as he traveled to campaign events in Tennessee for his 2024 presidential bid but wasn't injured, his campaign said.

The Republican White House hopeful "was in a car accident while traveling to an event in Chattanooga, Tennessee," on Tuesday, campaign press secretary Bryan Griffin confirmed to The Associated Press. DeSantis "and his team are uninjured," Griffin said.

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.

DeSantis was scheduled to hold events throughout central and eastern Tennessee on Tuesday. He has trailed front-runner Donald Trump in the GOP presidential contest.

DeSantis has been focusing a lot of attention on Tennessee in his recent campaigning. Last week, he addressed more than 1,800 attendees at a state GOP dinner in Nashville.

CNN's Jake Tapper interviews Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday, July 18, 2023, in South Carolina.


DeSantis downplays concerns about the state of his 2024 campaign

Steve Contorno and Kit Maher
8:15 PM, Jul 18, 2023

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. 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.