Three top Jeb Bush fundraisers, Debbie Aleksander, Trey McCarley, and Kris Money, have quit working for the former Florida governor’s presidential campaign. The announcement of the exit of Bush campaign officials comes on the heels of Donald Trump’s dramatic surge past Bush to the top of 2016 Republican presidential primary polling. Bush recently fell to third in national polling averages.
According to Politico, “There are different versions of what transpired. The Florida-based fundraising consultants… have said that they voluntarily quit the campaign and were still working with Bush’s super PAC, Right to Rise Super PAC. Others said the three, who worked under the same contract, were let go because they were no longer needed for the current phase of the campaign.”
[RELATED: Trump: “If I’m Going Down, Then Bush Is Going Down with Me”]
An unidentified Politico source reportedly said that the consultants left the campaign over a personality dispute, citing difficulties working with Bush finance director Heather Larrison.
“They were glad to go. This wasn’t a shock to anybody. There were just some personality problems. It happens when you have a big organization like this, a big campaign. Some of the national people are tough to work for,” another unidentified campaign-connected source told Politico.
However, other campaign sources also blamed Kris Money’s alleged “haughtiness and a heavy-handed donate-or-else attitude” for the split and claims that the three had been let go due to their inability to keep up with previous quarter fundraising totals.
“We appreciated their work, but we are entering a new phase of the campaign post-Labor Day, and we needed to move in a different direction,” claimed another source.
Politico cited a contradictory claim by another campaign insider, who said, “They raised a lot of money out of Florida. A lot. So if anyone says they didn’t quit, it’s not true. They’re still working for the super PAC as well. This is not about them. … This is about the campaign.”
The Bush campaign has reportedly reached out to former Chris Christie presidential campaign fundraiser Meredith O’Rourke, who left Christie’s campaign in July, in an effort to fill one of the now-vacant fundraising positions.
Another campaign staffer, who Politico says has access to the campaign’s internal data, said, “Jeb might not have a fundraiser problem. He might have a spending problem.”
He added, “Jeb has a big army, and that army needs to be fed.”
Bush spokesperson Tim Miller downplayed the controversy in comments to Fox News and said, “Governor Bush has the widest and deepest fundraising operation of any candidate in the field.” He also pointed out the fact that lead fundraiser Ann Herberger continues to work for the campaign.
Republican strategist Joe Desilets also dismissed the split as insignificant and told Fox News, “This is the time of year that campaigns make staffing changes before settling a final team going forward.”
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