The buzz swirling around northeastern Minnesota over the past two weeks has been that Tarryl Clark’s campaign for 8th district congress is in disarray amid the sudden departure of her campaign manager, Brandon Pinette. Reliable sources state that Pinette has accepted a position with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington, D.C.
Sources within the DCCC would neither confirm nor deny his move and calls to Pinette and the Clark campaign have not been returned. However, a highly placed source close to the 8th congressional district campaigns reconfirmed today that Pinette has in fact submitted his resignation and that today is last day with the Clark campaign.
Observers of the race may be surprised at the departure of Pinette so quickly after Clark announced her intentions of bypassing the endorsement and forcing a DFL primary. Pinette is a bought and paid for national consultant who makes his living winning campaigns. So why would he leave a top ten race that could make his career?
According to several current and former professional campaign managers, there are three basic reasons why they would leave a campaign:
1. The campaign can’t afford them
2. The candidate is extremely difficult to work with
3. The campaign isn’t going anywhere
Clark’s campaign in the 8th congressional district has been floundering from the start, seemingly unable to gain any traction. Clark finished a distant third in every poll conducted in the race thus far, and there is speculation that her abysmal showing at the precinct caucuses is what prompted her to bypass the endorsement in favor of a primary.
The campaign professionals consulted for this story all agreed that if the Tarryl Clark campaign were on track to win a primary and a general election in a top ten national race, it would seem inconceivable for one whose reputation could be enhanced by such a win to leave so quickly after arriving. But as one observed:
“Losing big in a primary when your campaign had lots of money is not a career builder”