Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ed FitzGerald’s campaign is undergoing a major staff shakeup with campaign manager Nicholas Buis and communications director Daniel McElhatton departing their current jobs.
According to The Columbus Dispatch, which first reported the news, FitzGerald press secretary Lauren Hitt could also leave the campaign as well as FitzGerald consultants Louis Capobianco and Aaron Pickrell.
“Both Nick Buis and Daniel McElhatton have left their day-to-day roles on the campaign, but will assist as consultants on an as needed basis,” Hitt told TPM in an email late Monday night. “Any other staff changes will be announced later in the week.”
Hitt also said that she was “still the appropriate point of contact for press inquiries.
“The campaign will undergo some staff and administrative changes this week in order to maximize our resources and provide the best chance of success for Ed, [running mate] Sharen [Neuhardt], and the entire statewide Democratic slate in November,” Hitt added.
In recent weeks FitzGerald’s campaign has been inundated with questions around an incident in 2012 when police found him with a woman who was not his wife in a parked car at 4:30 a.m. The woman and FitzGerald both said nothing untoward happened, but FitzGerald’s campaign has still had to face questions surrounding the incident, such as the fact that FitzGerald didn’t have a legal driver’s license when police encountered him with the woman.
The Dispatch report, citing unnamed sources, said McElhatton and Buis’ departures were not because they were fired. Instead they said they chose to leave because they were hit relentlessly with questions over the driver’s license.
Hitt did not respond to TPM when asked about the shakeup.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), who FitzGerald is challenging, has out-fundraised the Democratic nominee by a ratio of about 4-to-1 and the TPM Polltracker average of the race gives Kasich a 8 point lead over FitzGerald.