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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bob Hackworth splits with second campaign manager

Democrat Bob Hackworth has split Monday with campaign manager Shari Hazlett, a month into her role managing and fundraising for his bid to join the Pinellas County Commission.

Hazlett had succeeded Darden Rice as manager in May for the former Dunedin mayor's bid to oust County Commissioner Susan Latvala, a Republican.

In a sign of fundraising struggles, Hackworth and Hazlett split over the commissions she would make -- or better said, the sparsity of them. As part of her agreement, Hazlett was paid $2,000 as an advance, and she would receive an commission on campaign contributions.

"She has been paid more than she was earning as far as the agreement she had," Hackworth said, noting not enough money had been donated to reach the advance yet. "It was just getting to be obvious that wasn’t going to happen as quickly as it needed to happen for her."

Hazlett said she sought to change the two-month initial contract to be noncommission. Hackworth didn't want to do it. Today, they split -- the second shakeup (h/t since Rice switched from manager to adviser, which Hackworth said today is an unpaid role. Total campaign payroll: zero.

"It part of the challenge a grass roots, insurgent campaign takes on when you choose to limit contributions to $100," Hackworth said.

Hazlett said the trouble wasn't so much the $100 limit. She said what hurt was the limited time Hackworth had for fundraising: An illness knocked him out for 2 1/2 weeks.

"We didn’t get much of a start. It’s kind of hard to tell how it was going to go," Hazlett said, who described the breakup as Hackworth "just wanted to go a different to direction with the campaign."

Asked whether Hackworth made the right decision, Hazlett said Hackworth was "a really great guy" who "would make an excellent county commissioner." Pressed again, she said:

"I don't know if there is a yes-or-no answer to that."

David DeCamp, Times staff writer



[Last modified: Thursday, September 16, 2010 3:40pm]


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