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Another Harris Campaign Staffer Quits

July 14, 2006

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris’ third Senate campaign manager has resigned, citing the candidate’s ``tantrums″ and ``increasingly erratic behavior.″

``It became unmanageable, unhealthy, uncontrollable,″ said Glenn Hodas, who became campaign manager in April, when his predecessor left after only a few months in the role.

Four other key staffers are also leaving the campaign, Hodas said.

Harris issued a statement saying: ``I wish each of them the very best in their future endeavors.″

The Republican congresswoman has been a polarizing figure on the national political scene since 2000, when as Florida’s secretary of state she certified George W. Bush’s 537-vote win in the state’s disputed presidential election.

She was elected to the U.S. House in 2002 and has pledged to spend $10 million of her own money on Senate race. She is facing three mostly unknown opponents in the GOP primary and remains a heavy favorite to win the nomination. In the general election, she has trailed Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson by more than 30 points in some polls.

Harris said her campaign to unseat Nelson was ``aggressively moving forward.″ But she has clearly been facing some high hurdles _ politically and personally.

Next week, she has surgery scheduled to remove an ovarian mass. In her campaign, fundraising has been slow, GOP leaders have pressured her to drop out, and she has been criticized for her connections to a corrupt defense contractor who illegally gave $32,000 to her campaign.

Hodas said he knew about Harris’ reputation for being a tough boss before joining the campaign in the spring.

``I read the reports and I said ‘There’s no way all this stuff could be true.’ But as time wore on, not only was it true but it was worse than reported,″ he said. He described ``tantrums, micromanaging, an increasingly erratic behavior and counterproductive, damaging statements and activities.″

A new campaign manager will be named shortly, the campaign said. Harris’ first campaign manager, Jim Dornan, stepped down in November. He was replaced by Jamie Miller, who was replaced by Hodas. Hodas plans to return to his Illinois political consulting business, Hodas & Associates.

Ed Rollins, a prominent political strategist who had served as President Reagan’s political director and ran Ross Perot’s presidential campaign in 1992, also abandoned Harris’ campaign.

He said Hodas’ description was similar to what he had experienced.

``Everything is someone else’s fault. If there’s not a Starbucks coffee house within distance, it’s someone else’s fault,″ Rollins said. ``After a while you say, ’Why am I putting up with this crap?‴

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