First off, those (Dems, or Nelson supporters, anyway) who have suggested that the Ricketts camp is desperate or is in disarray are obviously unfamiliar with campaigning. Ricketts just won a heated primary and is getting national attention as someone who has a shot of taking down a very popular Senator. But after a primary, you gear up for a different type of campaign, and you may head another direction. If this were October, we might question moves such as this. In July, it’s not unusual, and frankly it’s the right time if you want to make moves.
Campaign Manager, Pat Fiske: Pat obviously did a great job in the primary, against two better known opponents. Pat’s only fault is that he’s not from Nebraska, and probably not as keyed into the political landscape. Sometimes when you hit the general election you need to find someone who better knows the history of the state politics, and knows the local players etc. Ricketts will need to keep the Republican Party base in tact to beat Nelson. He recognized they needed a Nebraskan with political experience. Jessica Moenning, former Nebraska GOP Executive Director, and Jeff Fortenberry campaign manager fits it perfectly. She’s tied in with the state party, the Governor and the Hagel camps, who will be essential for Ricketts in the general.
Fundraiser, Melissa Ekberg: We don’t know the entire story on this staffer, but suffice it to say that she had an uphill battle trying to raise money for a candidate who is perceived as self-funding his campaign. The Ricketts camp may have realized this and decided to start with another fundraising group. This isn’t unheard of and funders are very often from outside the campaign. Nonetheless, it’s unlikely that Ricketts will be short on cash for the race.
Communications, Trisha Meuret: We have it on good authority that Ms. Meuret truly left on good terms with the campaign, and has even been recently at the campaign HQ helping the staff to transition. We hope the Ricketts camp will be able to function well without someone with her experience, but again, Jessica Moenning has a great deal of experience working with the Nebraska press.
With that, we look forward to hearing more from all the campaigns.