Last month, Keystone Politics reported that Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz’s front-running gubernatorial campaign was stumbling out of the gate. Nasty emails from her chief of staff to Rob McCord’s spokesman were published by Politico, her communications team flubbed their reaction to the anti-fracking moratorium at state committee, and Schwartz snubbed Kathleen Kane by referring to herself as “the highest-ranking woman elected official in Pennsylvania.”
Now, one of Schwartz’s top campaign staffers, her communications director Reesa Kossoff, has left the campaign.
“Reesa has left the campaign to pursue other opportunities,” Schwartz consultant Mark Bergman told Keystone Politics in an email. “We wish her all the best.”
Before Schwartz officially jumped into the gubernatorial race, Politico reported that Schwartz’s first major move was hiring Kossoff as her campaign’s communications director. At the time, Politico touted the early hire, saying Kossoff “ran regional press in Ohio for the Obama campaign, where she pushed the president’s bailout of the auto industry — and Mitt Romney’s opposition to his plan — as a reason for Buckeye State voters to vote to re-elect Obama.”
And when The Hill wrote their article announcing that Schwartz was “firmly committed to running,” their first bullet point was Kossoff’s hiring. Now, after just four months on the job, Kossoff has jumped ship. It is unclear whether the separation was amicable.
Keystone Politics was first alerted to Kossoff’s departure when we noticed that “@SchwartzAllyson Comms Director” was removed from Kossoff’s Twitter profile. Her account had been inactive for over a week, and these facts together prompted an inquiry with the Schwartz campaign.
The fact that the response came from Mark Bergman, who works for Mission Control Inc (a top Democratic mail firm), indicates that Kossoff has not yet been replaced.
Early staff shake-ups are not uncommon on campaigns, but it’s not like Kossoff was a middling deputy. As late as May 1st Kossoff was one of Schwartz’s only three staffers, including Finance Director Aubrey Montgomery and longtime Schwartz aide Neil Deegan. Since then, Schwartz has rounded off her team, but losing a member of the original core group is never a good sign.