Wendy Davis Replaces Her Campaign Manager

June 11, 2014 10:26 a.m.

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis is replacing her campaign manager.

The Davis campaign announced that Karin Johanson, a veteran campaign manager, will be replaced by state Rep. Chris Turner (D). Johanson previously served as Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s (D-WI) campaign manager for her Senate campaign.

“After building one of the most competitive campaign organizations Texas has seen in decades, Karin Johanson has let me know that she believes it’s time to hand off the reins of the campaign management for our final push toward election day,” Davis said in a statement on Wednesday.

Davis praised Turner for his two decades of experience in Texas politics which includes him fighting and winning “tough races in the state.”

Recently the Davis campaign got into a bit of a spat with the Democratic Governors Association after Johanson criticized the organization for not listing the Texas gubernatorial race as a top targets for Democrats in the 2014 cycle.

“The uninformed opinions of a Washington, DC desk jockey who’s never stepped foot in Texas couldn’t be less relevant to what’s actually happening on the ground,” Johanson said.

In response the DGA communications director Danny Kanner said that Texas is a historically difficult state for Democrats to win statewide.

“Governor Shumlin stated the obvious fact that Texas has historically been a tough state for Democrats, but that — because we have a strong candidate — we are hopeful about our chances this year,” Kanner said.

Here is the email Johanson sent out to the Davis campaign staff:

To the Wonderful Staff and Friends of the Wendy Davis for Governor Campaign

A few weeks ago I suggested to Senator Davis that she reach out to Representative Chris Turner to lead the campaign to election day. Chris has managed tough Texas races and as member of the Texas House is respected across the state for his smarts and common sense. It is great for the Wendy Davis for Governor Campaign and for Texas that he has accepted the position of Campaign Director.

I am proud of what we have all built in this campaign. In Wendy Davis, Texas has a candidate for Governor who is inspiring activists and voters like no one has in decades. At this point in the campaign, Wendy Davis is as well-known as Greg Abbott and gaining on him every day in the polls. We have raised more money, have more donors (133,600) and have more volunteers (18,222) than any candidate ever in Texas. We have raised more money than any non-incumbent candidate for Governor in the country. We are organizing voters in every region of the state. Every day our aggressive team drives the agenda for both the Davis campaign and our opposition.

I’m not sure Texas Republicans knew what to expect when Wendy Davis announced for Governor last October. They know now. They’ve got a real race on their hands.

If you are a betting person, put your money on Wendy.

Now I’m going to go home and spend some time this summer with my 90-year old father and lose the pounds I gained from eating tacos for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But even from the sidelines I will still #StandWithWendy.

Here’s to Victory in November,


This post was updated.

Correction: The headilne for this post originally said Johanson was fired. The Davis campaign said she resigned.

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