The Brief: Perry Loses New Hampshire Campaign Staff
The financially beleaguered Rick Perry presidential campaign absorbed another blow on Wednesday when word got out that the campaign had no staff left in New Hampshire, the site of the first Republican primary contest of the nominating season.
The Tribune's Patrick Svitek reported that Perry's political director in New Hampshire, Dante Vitagliano, had left to join the campaign of Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Vitagliano released a statement in which he said, "it has become clear that the path forward for Gov. Perry is not through New Hampshire."
Svitek added, "Vitagliano and (Mike) Dennehy are not the only Perry staffers in New Hampshire to exit recently. Ryder Selmi, who had been Perry's senior field manager in New Hampshire, left the former governor's campaign around Aug. 20. Word of Vitagliano's exit came a day after Perry's Iowa team announced it had scaled back to one paid staffer, Jamie Johnson, and a volunteer adviser, Robert Haus."
The Houston Chronicle's Kevin Diaz and Mike Ward reported that the staff shakeups in those early voting states have made South Carolina more important to Perry's plans. They write:
Erik Corcoran, a Perry field director in the Palmetto State, said Wednesday that a staff of five and a growing cadre of more than 100 volunteers is not losing heart, despite the furloughs.
"We've confirmed to them (Perry headquarters in Austin) that they hired the right people and we're in it for the right reasons," Corcoran said. "I'm not going to disparage anyone who has left, but it sends an enormously powerful message, especially to young people, that there is a team out there that's in it for the right reasons."