Major Staff Turnover on Gingrey’s Senate Campaign

Gingrey lost key staff for his Senate run this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Gingrey lost key staff for his Senate run this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted November 19, 2013 at 9:20am

Updated 1:20 p.m. |

As first reported by The Daily Caller late Monday night, general consultant Chip Lake, campaign manager John Porter, political director David Allen and grass-roots coordinator Justin Tomczak have all stepped down from the campaign. Gingrey is running in a crowded and competitive Republican primary for the seat of retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

In a phone interview Tuesday morning, Lake said he sat down with Gingrey on Monday to discuss the direction of the campaign and decided it was best for both parties to move on. He believes Gingrey, who released the first TV ad of the race last week, will stay in the race.

“I have nothing but respect for Phil Gingrey,” Lake said. “I wish him nothing but the best, but when you reach that point in a campaign where you’re at the crossroads, something’s got to give. When I left him yesterday I wished him the best and told him I thought it was very important for him to finish out this campaign the way that’s most comfortable for him.

“We just had some disagreements on overall campaign vision and structure, and everything kind of falls under that umbrella. When that happens, you try to work it out, and when you can’t work it out, you sit down and have difficult discussions on how to move forward.”

Gingrey is one of three House members, along with Reps. Jack Kingston and Paul Broun, vying for the GOP nomination. Others in the race include former Secretary of State Karen Handel and businessman David Perdue. Michelle Nunn, a longtime head of the Points of Light Foundation, is the top Democrat.

The race is rated Republican Favored by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Update 1:20 p.m.

Gingrey released the following statement Tuesday in response to the news:

“I’m deeply grateful and appreciative of their efforts on behalf of my campaign, without which we could not have gotten this far. They helped us get up and running and saw us through its first phase, up to my “Repeal or Go Home” pledge. And now as my campaign enters its next phase, I remain committed to my pledge to repeal Obamacare or return home and am energized by the support and encouragement I continue to receive.”