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
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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