Dean Parker, the finance chair of retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson’s presidential campaign, has resigned, according to a Thursday news release.
His resignation comes on the heels of a Politico story about the campaign’s exorbitant spending, including a $20,000-month salary for Parker. It also follows the departures of campaign manager Barry Bennett and communications director Doug Watts on Dec. 31 after conflicts with longtime Carson adviser Armstrong Williams.
Parker accumulated at least $216,000 in expenses from July to September, according to Politico. The news outlet reported when Carson’s poll numbers were high in November, high spending was easy to overlook. But now, as Real Clear Politics puts Carson in fourth place nationally (27 points behind the leader) and fourth in Iowa (18.3 points behind), the spending is harder to ignore.
Typically, experts told Politico on Thursday, finance chairs do not receive a salary, let alone such a high one. The Carson campaign told Politico they brought Parker on in “a contract relationship, so they could properly reimburse for expenses” after he volunteered full-time for months.
“Dean has been a valued member of my campaign and a trusted friend; I appreciate and honor Dean’s tireless efforts on behalf of saving America. Our significant fundraising success has been due, in large part, to Dean’s dedication and commitment to ‘We the People,’ ” Carson said in a statement.
The Carson campaign also lost its top fundraiser, Bill Millis, in early December. All five paid staffers of a pro-Carson super PAC also left Monday to volunteer for rival Sen. Ted Cruz’s New Hampshire organization.