Rick Perry Stops Paying South Carolina Staff

The decision suggests the former Texas governor’s campaign is facing serious financial woes.

Rick Perry
National Journal
Shane Goldmacher
Add to Briefcase
Shane Goldmacher
Aug. 10, 2015, 2:21 p.m.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s cam­paign team in South Car­o­lina is no longer be­ing paid by his pres­id­en­tial cam­paign, Na­tion­al Journ­al has learned.

“Pay is only one reas­on people do this,” Katon Dawson, Perry’s South Car­o­lina state dir­ect­or, said in an in­ter­view. “We’ll be able to live off the land for a while.”

It is not clear if or when paychecks will start back­ing up for Perry’s team in South Car­o­lina. Dawson said that Perry staffers in the state “have been paid up to two weeks ago.”

(RE­LATED: Rick Perry’s Fin­an­cial Im­plo­sion)

Dawson said core mem­bers of Team Perry, in­clud­ing him­self, will con­tin­ue to work, even if un­paid. He said Wal­ter Whet­sell and Le Frye, two top Perry op­er­at­ives in the state, are among those still work­ing.

“We’ll do it wheth­er there’s pay or no pay,” Dawson said. In ad­di­tion to the pay freeze, at least one Perry staffer was let go last week. Dawson said that move was un­re­lated to any “fin­an­cial dis­com­fort.”

Perry has struggled in his re­peat bid for pres­id­ent in 2016. He raised a mea­ger $1.1 mil­lion in the second quarter, and his cam­paign will de­pend al­most en­tirely on his far-bet­ter-fun­ded su­per PAC. Not­ably, Perry also missed the main de­bate stage last week, des­pite a weeks-long push of tele­vi­sion ads by his su­per PAC in Iowa.

“Noth­ing has changed with South Car­o­lina as far as the mis­sion at hand of help­ing the gov­ernor be­come the nom­in­ee of the party,” Dawson in­sisted. “Noth­ing has changed.”

(RE­LATED: Big GOP Donors Still Be­lieve in Chris Christie)

Perry is sched­uled to vis­it South Car­o­lina on Thursday, Dawson said, and he is still plan­ning a full slate of events both this week and later in Au­gust.

“As the cam­paign moves along, tough de­cisions have to be made in re­spect to both mon­et­ary- and time-re­lated re­sources,” said Jeff Miller, Perry’s cam­paign man­ager, in an email. “Gov­ernor Perry re­mains com­mit­ted to com­pet­ing in the early states and will con­tin­ue to have a strong pres­ence in Iowa, New Hamp­shire, and South Car­o­lina. The gov­ernor is also look­ing for­ward to his trips to South Car­o­lina this Thursday and to Iowa next week.”

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