(CBrief) – Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is running for president in the Republican Party, was involved in a car accident in Tennessee on Tuesday, according to his spokesman.
In a statement to Fox News, press secretary Bryan Griffin said, “This morning, the governor was in a car accident while traveling to an event in Chattanooga, Tennessee.”
Griffin continued, “We appreciate the prayers and good thoughts of the country for his continued protection while on the campaign trail.
Reports stated that DeSantis and his group are unharmed.
Fox News host Steve Doocy said: “Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has just been involved in a car accident. His press secretary announced the governor was in a car accident while traveling to an event in Chattanooga, Tennessee, he and his team are uninjured, and we appreciate the prayers and well wishes for his continued protection while on the campaign trail. We will monitor this developing.”
DeSantis has maintained a solid second place behind fellow Sunshine State resident and former President Donald Trump throughout the 2024 GOP presidential nomination cycle, but his numbers have begun to slip in recent weeks.
In fact, one new poll has DeSantis virtually tied with businessman and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy for second place behind Trump, who was well ahead.
Nevertheless, DeSantis said earlier this month he has no intention of slowing down and indicated he would be on the first GOP debate stage next month regardless of whether Trump decides to show up or not.
“I’ll be there regardless. I hope everybody who’s eligible comes. I think it’s an important part of the process and I look forward to being able to be on the stage and introducing our candidacy and our vision and our leadership to a wide audience,” DeSantis said Thursday on “Fox News Tonight.”
The scheduled date for the first GOP debate is Aug. 23.
Fox News noted:
Trump, who’s the commanding front-runner in the latest GOP presidential primary polls as he makes his third straight White House run, has indicated both publicly and privately that he may skip the debate, due in part to his large lead over the rest of the field of Republican 2024 contenders.
But Trump campaign officials say the former president has yet to make any final decision on his participation in the debate. Trump’s aides have also been looking into options for an alternative event should the former president skip the debate.
On Friday, Fox News contributor and co-host Katie Pavlich responded to the new survey showing Ramaswamy now tied with DeSantis for the No. 2 spot behind Trump.
During a segment on Fox Business Network’s “Kudlow,” featuring former Trump administration economist Larry Kudlow, she and another guest talked with the host about the troubling numbers for the Florida governor.
“Forty-eight percent, Trump,” Kudlow said, reading the Kaplan Strategies poll. “Twelve percent, Ramaswamy, 12 percent, DeSantis.”
“He’s like the Mayor Pete of this race, I think, right now,” said guest and New York Post reporter Jon Levine. “I think a lot of voters are looking at this race thinking there’s a lot of yesterday’s news in this race – people like Chris Christie and Mike Pence. And Ramaswamy is someone that offers voters something new.”
Pavlich, meanwhile, said that DeSantis’ campaign has spent a great deal of money but does not have much to show for it so far.
“It has to be bad for the Desantis campaign, who’s looking at all the resources, all the money they’ve spent,” she said. “They’re trying to regroup their campaign, and to have Ramaswamy – who has no political experience – come in and be tied, it’s not good for them.”
At one point, DeSantis was seen as the only serious challenge to Trump for the 2024 nomination, especially after winning his reelection race last year by more than 19 points. But his star may be fading, at least for the current election cycle, as Trump remains dominant among Republican voters.