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Trump Takes Staff From Kochs to Build NH Campaign

Trump Takes Staff From Kochs to Build NH Campaign
(REUTERS/Dominick Reuter)

By    |   Wednesday, 08 July 2015 08:00 AM

Donald Trump is staffing up his presidential campaign by turning to the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity for his high profile hires.

According to The National Journal, Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, had until January run AFP's national voter-registration effort. Trump's New Hampshire state director, Matt Ciepielowski, also moved from a similar role at the organization. And even his headquarters in New Hampshire is based in the same building as AFP.

In total, Trump has hired seven full-time staff in New Hampshire, and nine in Iowa, giving him possibly the largest campaign operation in the Republican field, second to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, the Journal said.

"They have county chairmen in each county in New Hampshire," said Lou Gargiulo, a former member of the state Legislature who is serving as one of the campaign's county co-chairs, according to the Journal. "There truly is a very serious Trump campaign in New Hampshire at this point in time."

In past election cycles, Gargiulo supported Mitt Romney and George W. Bush.

"This is kind of a departure, in terms of supporting an insurgent," Gargiulo said in explaining his support for Trump, according to the Journal. "He has not come out of the political class. He's built a business empire. He's created a lot of jobs."

New Hampshire Attorney General Tom Rath said that while he had a "high regard" for Trump's efforts in the state to date, he said the test of the structure he's putting together will come during the primary next year. "Can you convert that into a mature political organization that's capable of turning people out down the road?" he said.

Rath said the biggest challenge even for the best staff is often getting a candidate to cooperate with advice, something he thinks will pose a significant challenge for Trump's staff specifically.

"Can they get the candidate to pay attention? That's a universal question with all candidates, but I suspect it may be more of a question with this candidate."

Fergus Cullen, former state Republican Party chairman, suggested that the staff who have signed on to Trump's campaign have made a "business decision" and have been drawn in by favorable compensation packages.

Lewandowski declined to say how much he is currently making, but the amount Trump has spent to date will become public record when he files his FEC disclosure next week.

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Donald Trump is staffing up his presidential campaign by turning to the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity for his high profile hires.
donald trump, koch, americans prosperity, staff, campaign
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2015-00-08
Wednesday, 08 July 2015 08:00 AM
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