Three top staffers are bailing from Susan Bysiewicz’s stumbling bid for higher office. But she calls that good news—and has no reflection on the campaign.
The campaign—originally a bid for governor, morphed into a bid for attorney general—is losing its manager, its spokeswoman, and its finance director.
The campaign manager is Dave Mason. Bysiewicz confirmed Monday afternoon that Mason is preparing to leave “shortly.” She said she didn’t know if he has another job lined up.
“He had a contract [with the campaign] to manage a governor’s race,” Bysiewicz said. “He came in December intending to manage a governor’s race. Then we had the new opportunity [to run for] attorney general [instead]. He agreed to stay on” for the transition. “We wish him well.”
Mason said Monday his decision to leave had nothing to do with the candidate. “There’s no there there,” he said.
Spokeswoman Tanya Meck, meanwhile, has a “great new job” lined up as director of communications for Northeast Utilities, Bysiewicz said. Meck’s three-month contract with the campaign ended Jan. 31.
“My contract came to a natural end,” Meck said in a phone interview Monday. She said she was responsible for helping Bysiewicz set up her website, communications, and social media networks.
She said she knows how this must look, but it has nothing to do with the candidate.
“I’m confident Susan is going to run a strong campaign,” Meck said. “This happens all the time on campaigns.”
The plan all along was for Meck, a longtime ally, to serve only temporarily in the campaign slot, Bysiewicz claimed. “We had Tanya for a short-term commitment.”
And finance director Ellen Graham?
“She just got a wonderful opportunity with the Senate Democrats,” Bysiewicz said.
“Ellen worked for us for a year as my finance director. She was also hoping to stay for a governor’s race,” she added.
Bysiewicz, currently the secretary of the state, had for years eyed the governor’s mansion. She had been running for governor for a year when, in a surprise move, she switched on Jan. 13 to seeking the attorney general’s job. Since then, she has stumbled several times: She said publicly she may not want to serve a full four-year term if elected. And she faces claims that she’s not legally qualified to serve as attorney general because she hasn’t practiced law in the state for the past 10 years, a claim she denies and is fighting.
The candidate said in no way does she feel that her top aides are jumping ship or that the campaign is struggling.
“Last I checked the Q poll said we were up 52 points,” she said. “Things are good.”
The three have yet to be replaced, Bysiewicz said.
“We have a great staff and are doing well,” she said. “We have a staff on the ground to help us. We will bring people on as needed.”