Richards' Change in Campaign

It’s a rash of resignations and defections in this year’s gubernatorial race. The latest campaign undergoing changes is Democratic candidate and current House Speaker Jody Richards.

With just six weeks left until the primary, Richards and running-mate John “Y.” Brown III, have parted ways with their finance chairman and campaign manager.

Richards, a Warren County native, will work with some new staff members, leading up to the May 22, 2007, primary.

Former campaign manager, Travis Lowe split ways with the Richards-Brown campaign last week.

“We talked to our campaign manager and we decided he probably wasn’t the best person. It was an amicable separation. While he did get our campaign up and running, we didn’t think it was the direction we wanted to go in,” said Patsy Sloan, with the Richards-Brown Campaign.

Brislin said Richards wants his campaign to be more of a field organization and that’s one area that he and Lowe disagreed on.

Lowe’s departure was followed by finance chairman, Larry Townsend.

“There was just a concern that some of the commitments that had been made about fundraising abilities, hadn’t been met and so he also left the campaign,” Sloan said.

Townsend made an appearance at opponent Bruce Lunsford’s fundraiser on Thursday, April 5, 2007, confirming his departure from Richards’ campaign.

Richards’ local supporters aren’t worried by the staff changes. These turnovers in campaigns aren’t uncommon at all; in fact it’s a very rare campaign that doesn’t experience any.

“I think this is the shake-up we needed to keep from being a stagnant campaign,” Sloan said.

Richards is in the process of evaluating people to fill the open positions. Richards has named long-time aide, Alex Barber as Statewide Field Coordinator to help his goal of reaching out to more counties.

This isn’t the first resignation among the candidates. Democratic candidate, Bruce Lunsford lost a staffer in March to rival candidate, Otis Hensley Jr.

Republican candidate Billy Harper also lost his campaign manager in March.

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