Schwartz Campaign Removes Top Fundraiser
Aubrey Montgomery will no longer serve as Allyson Schwartz’s Finance Director, a spokesman confirmed Thursday.
It’s the latest staff shakeup in the Congresswoman’s gubernatorial effort.
In a statement, the campaign emphasized that Montgomery will remain affiliated with Schwartz’s bid.
“As we continue to build momentum in this campaign, I am pleased to add two strong, experienced members to my team as well as keeping Aubrey as a key part of the campaign,” Schwartz said in a statement.
“I have been honored to be part of Allyson’s team and know she will make a tremendous Governor of Pennsylvania,” Montgomery said in the statement. “As I try to create a better work and personal life balance for myself, I will continue to work as part of the Schwartz team but in a different role.”
Montgomery will be replaced by Chris Carr, who most recently worked as a regional finance director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
But several Democratic insiders familiar with the move said the campaign essentially was showing Montgomery the door. It could be an indication of lackluster fundraising, they said.
“There’s only one reason a fundraiser leaves a campaign this close to a filing deadline,” said one operative.
The current gubernatorial campaign finance cycle ends on Dec. 31. It will not be possible to fully assess the fundraising activities of Schwartz or any of the candidates until reports are due on Jan. 31.
Schwartz has been a prolific fundraiser during her tenure in Congress, bringing in multiple millions of dollars each cycle.
But donors who support members of Congress aren’t necessarily willing spend to support a state-level candidate, several fundraising experts told PoliticsPA.
“It shows that they’re not where they want to be” with fundraising, said one Democratic operative of the decision to replace Montgomery. “And worse, it shows they don’t understand why.”
Additionally, major donors have thus far remained on the sidelines of the primary. Several of the Democratic hopefuls would be viable opponents to Gov. Tom Corbett.
“People are still trying to figure out who the best candidate is. They aren’t writing checks,” said another Dem insider.
Sources close to other campaigns corroborate the notion that money has been hard to come by. That excludes Tom Wolf, the former Pa. Revenue Secretary and businessman who pledged $10 million of his own money to the race.
Carr, the Schwartz campaign’s new Finance Director, was a regional finance director for the DCCC for the past 2 and a half years. He oversaw the western and midwestern regions. Prior to that he served as FD of the Maryland Democratic Party.
Additionally, Schwartz’s son Jordan will join the campaign as a Senior Advisor. He left his position as deputy Chief of Staff to Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.
News that Schwartz had hired Montgomery was the catalyst for the initial burst of speculation in December that the Congresswoman was planning to run for Governor.
Prior to that, conventional wisdom had been that Schwartz would run for U.S. Senate in 2016.
Montgomery served as finance director for the Pa. Democratic Party during its successful 2012 cycle. Like Schwartz, she is a vocal advocate for women in politics. PoliticsPA named her one PA’s Rising Stars in 2012 and in 2010.
It’s the second high profile departure from Schwartz’s campaign. Communications Director Ressa Kossoff left in late July.