Dennis Mansfield, the businessman and blogger who helped revitalize the primary campaign for Republican congressional nominee Raul Labrador, has resigned from campaign efforts. Mansfield told IdahoReporter.com Monday that his tour of duty with the Labrador campaign is officially over and that candidates are being interviewed to take over where he left off.
Mansfield was one of the men behind Labrador's come-from-behind victory over Vaughn Ward in the May 25 Republican primary election. Mansfield, who ran for Congress in 2000, endorsed Labrador on his personal blog in mid-April and offered his services to Labrador's campaign. Labrador took Mansfield up on his offer and made Mansfield his spokesman on April 28. Prior to that, Labrador's campaign hadn't issued a press release or newsletter in several weeks.
Shortly after taking over the reigns of the communication arm of Labrador's campaign, Mansfield orchestrated the release of a new campaign website and weekly e-mails to Labrador supporters. Mansfield's son, Collin, was responsible for the social media portion of the campaign, which included Twitter and Facebook updates, as well as live video streaming from a Ward rally featuring Republican superstar Sarah Palin. The younger Mansfield was also responsible for recording and posting on YouTube a video clip from a debate in Post Falls in which Ward said that Puerto Rico is a foreign country. The video made national headlines and has garnered more than 25,000 views on YouTube.
Mansfield, who runs his own business, said that he only volunteered to help Labrador through the primary election. He said that he has business deals and other projects to which he needs to attend. China Gum, who has served both as spokesperson and fundraising manager for the Labrador campaign, will again work as the communication director until a replacement is found. Gum told IdahoReporter.com that the campaign is in the process of interviewing to fill the position.
It will be the second time a Republican candidate has replaced his campaign spokesman in this election cycle. During the primary election, Ward replaced his first spokesman, Ryan O'Barto, after a series of miscues that cast Ward in a negative light in the local media. O'Barto was replaced by media guru Mike Tracy two weeks before the primary election. Tracy previously worked as an aide for Sen. Larry Craig.
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