Simon has hired longtime Republican consultant Ed Rollins as his campaign’s senior adviser, despite objections from Parsky. According to a Simon source, Parsky wasn’t consulted about the Rollins hire, and when he heard about it, angrily called Simon campaign strategist John Peschong, whom Parsky with White House support had recently forced onto Simon.
“Parsky was pissed,” says the source, “But Peschong was just as much in the dark. Simon just took the bull by the horns and put his own man in place. Parsky is out of it as far as many of us are concerned. Peschong is staying on, but Rollins is the man.”
As American Prowler readers well know, Simon loyalists have long been chafing under Parsky’s seemingly watchful eye. For example, according to the Simon insider, the candidate wanted to budget and spend more than $750,000 for an absentee ballot registration program for Republicans in the state. Parsky blocked that expense.
“At every turn, we seemed to get stumped by the state party guys,” says the insider. “Rollins knows this state, he understands conservatives and he’s helped Republicans win out here in the past. It’s time to make a move.”
While Simon’s polling numbers have seeming stalled below 45% across the state, Davis’s approval/disapproval numbers remain at about 35% and 65% respectively. “We have an opportunity here to make up some ground before the fall campaign really kicks in,” says the insider. “We have the money, now we have someone we feel can really shape a message that is comfortable for Bill to convey to the voters. Rollins may be just what we needed.”
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