Rick Perry loses both of his co-chairs in Iowa

31 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Fesler Returns to Santorum After Brief Stint with Perry.

The Republican from Texas has whittled his staff in Iowa to one paid operative amid continuing fund-raising struggles, a spokeswoman for Mr. AUSTIN – Shakeups continue at Rick Perry’s presidential campaign – and at a super PAC that supports him – as the former Texas governor tries to find traction in the key early primary state of Iowa.

According to Politico, which first reported the story, the staffer will be working alone, and all others will be let go as the campaign looks to focus on winning over South Carolina. “We talked to all the staff,” said Bob Haus, Perry’s top strategist in the state. It was reported in mid-August that Perry, who lags at the bottom of polling in the GOP race in Iowa, was short on cash and was no longer paying campaign staffers. The move is not a surprise, as campaign officials had been told that a staff cut in the Hawkeye state was imminent, and staffers there had not been paid since the beginning of the month the campaign has struggled to field any sort of meaningful donations. The decision was widely anticipated, with Perry’s advisers informing Iowa staff last week that a reorganization and cut-back was on the immediate horizon.

Karen Fesler, Perry’s Iowa co-chair, has moved back to the team for presidential candidate Rick Santorum, the candidate she supported in the 2012 cycle. Monday’s staff cuts are the the final blow to having even a remote shot in Iowa, but the death throes began last week when Perry’s Iowa campaign chairman, Sam Clovis, announced that he was leaving the team and bolted for Donald Trump’s GOP-leading campaign. Santorum said in a statement to the Register: “Karen was an important part of our victorious 2012 Iowa Caucus campaign and she spearheaded our efforts to overwhelmingly win the 2012 Missouri Republican Caucus. It’s a stunning disappointment for Perry, who hoped his 2016 presidential campaign would go smoother than his unsuccessful 2012 bid, which imploded after his disastrous “oops” moment in a primary debate.

I am confident that she will provide our campaign with great insights, advice, and a strong network to build our national campaign infrastructure.” “We are in the middle of a large fundraising push,” Haus said. “We won’t know the results of that for a while, and will continue campaigning.” “If we can rehire staff after the 15th, our Iowa team will get first consideration. Nearly four years after Perry’s high-flying presidential bid fizzled in dramatic fashion, the former governor has had an even harder time with his second go-round. Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history, spent years trying to rebuild his image as a serious-minded policy wonk and camped out in Iowa, a state where his advisers initially hoped he would fare well in. I am excited to rejoin his team and help be a part of a campaign that will again prove the experts in Washington and New York wrong.” Karen Fesler has over three decades of political experience, first as a county coordinator for Governor Kit Bond’s 1980 gubernatorial campaign. Perry’s staff members have already joined other Republican organizations, with one signing on to work with former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

During the 2012 presidential campaign, Karen Fesler was a member of the Santorum for President Iowa Steering Committee and later served as the campaign’s Missouri State Director. Its coffers are relatively healthy, after it brought in some $17 million in the last quarter. (The super PAC doesn’t face the same fundraising restrictions as the official campaign.) Perry advisers now say he will shift his focus to South Carolina, a conservative state that he also invested heavily in during his first presidential foray.

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