“You have given me the latitude to respond to media stories in direct and often unconventional ways, allowing me to redefine the role of a leader whose actions speak for themselves,” Pushaw wrote in his letter Friday. of resignation to the chief of staff of DeSantis, James Uthmeier and Dawn. Hanson, director of administration for the governor’s office. “I’m proud to have been part of a team that helped Floridians overcome historic challenges and continue to deliver results that improve the lives of the people of our great state.”
Her two-page resignation letter includes a series of bullet points outlining the administration’s accomplishments she helped elevate nationally, a move that coincides with DeSantis’ rise among many rank-and-file members of the GOP – who dubbed him “America’s Governor.” She touted the state’s economy reopening faster than other states at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the wave of education-focused culture war issues such as “parent empowerment and “respect for the rule of law”.
Pushaw’s position as press secretary was taxpayer-funded and part of DeSantis’ state office, but has long been seen as far more political in nature, which his long line of critics has not. was slow to point out as she brought in a taxpayer-funded $120,000 salary.
She has increasingly been the subject of national media profiles and helped put DeSantis at the forefront of the new Republican Party’s mainstream media, including last month blocking most non-right-wing media from covering the Florida Republican Party’s annual convention in Hollywood. , Fla..
That same weekend, reporters were invited to cover a convention in Tampa hosted by the conservative group Turning Point USA, a nod to the fact that Republicans in Florida have so far been more aggressive in their war with members of the media than other conservative organizations.
“It has come to my attention that some liberal media activists are angry that they are not allowed to attend #SunshineSummit this weekend,” Pushaw tweeted at the time. “My message to them is to try and cry about it.”
Just this week, Pushaw took to Twitter to slam The Associated Press for not including the full statement she made about a controversial education bill. defended by DeSantis. The media have long used relevant portions of statements and are not required to print them in full. Shortly after Pushaw slammed the reporter, several right-wing outlets ran stories about the swap.
“‘Losing my number’: DeSantis spokeswoman slams AP on quote,” read a headline from The Daily Caller.
Prior to working for DeSantis, Pushaw served as a media adviser to Mikheil Saakashvili, former president of Georgia, and later participated in that country’s legislative elections. In June, Pushaw late registered as a foreign agent because of her work in Georgia, a decision made after a Justice Department contact.
In early 2021, she wrote to DeSantis’ office to say she was impressed with the governor and would like to work in administration. This letter was first reported by the Tampa Bay Times.
“She will be missed in the governor’s office, but know that she will be a tremendous asset to the campaign team,” said Taryn Fenske, director of communications for the governor.
DeSantis’ assistant press secretary, Bryan Griffin, will replace her.
Pushaw highlighted his announcement on Twitter by retweeting a copy of his resignation letter, which was leaked to The Florida Standard, a conservative media outlet that gave favorable coverage to the administration.
“Now the gloves are off,” Pushaw tweeted.