Staff bolts again, but August Wolf says he’s still running
The troubled U.S. Senate campaign of Republican August Wolf is without a campaign manager and spokesman for the second time in two months, but the Stamford businessman said Tuesday he is staying in the race and will announce a new team next week.
“It should be a relief to everyone,” said Wolf, the only announced GOP candidate. “We have a solid plan for going forward.”
His first campaign manager, Tom Daly, quit last fall after Wolf’s fundraising fell flat. A team of former interns was given control of the campaign, but they departed in a flurry of firings and resignations two months ago alleging a hostile work environment.
“We’re moving on,” Wolf said. But asked who is managing his campaign, he said, “Right now, that is to be determined.”
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat who won the open seat in 2010 after 20 years as Connecticut’s attorney general, ended 2015 with $3.9 million in his campaign account, near-total name recognition and job approval and favorability ratings above 60 percent.
Wolf’s campaign failed to file an end-of-year report with the Federal Election Commission, but a recently hired campaign consultant, Matt Wylie, says a recently filed report will show the campaign ended the year with about $140,000.
Wylie, who was the director of former U.S. Rep. Chris Shays’ unsuccessful 2012 campaign for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination, which was won by Linda McMahon, has joined the campaign as a general consultant.
“We’re putting some stability, some experience behind a campaign that can win a primary, if necessary” and compete in the general election, Wylie said.
Wolf said he failed to file an end-of-year finance report in January, which has brought the threat of sanctions from the Federal Election Commission, because of concerns about the performance of Matthew R. MacFarlane, Troy Meeker and Michael Napoli.
MacFarlane, 22, was both campaign manager and treasurer when fired Jan. 24. Meeker, also 22, was a communication director eventually named as co-manager. Napoli, 21, was a field director. All three left the campaign in late January, saying Wolf was abusive.
Republicans have been seeking an alternative. Dan Carter, a state representative from Bethel, is weighing a run, as is Jack Orchulli, the GOP nominee in 2004. Joe Visconti, a former West Hartford councilman, has an exploratory committee.
J.R. Romano, the GOP state chairman, had no comment on the latest staff changes in Wolf’s campaign, other than saying, “That’s an internal campaign issue.”
Republicans are to nominate a candidate in two months.
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