The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Susie Wiles leaves Huntsman campaign, denies a shakeup

21

July

Susie Wiles, campaign manager for Republican Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, said she's leaving the campaign. But not because there's a shake-up or a problem.

"It was just time," said Wiles, who served as Gov. Rick Scott's campaign manager throughout 2010 and then almost immediately signed on with Huntsman.

"I signed up to get it started. It’s like a phase. This morning I said it’s time to move on," she said. She said she'll be replaced by campaign spokesman Matt David.

Wiles said Huntsman's sagging poll numbers had nothing to do with her decision. Huntsman is one of the few candidates who became less popular after he launched a campaign, sort of a reverse buzz effect. She said the candidate has just started out, as has the campaign. And she expects him to do better and better.

"It was in my plans to resign at some point. I have a great life and a great situation. We launched this thing and it’s up and running. Our team is so good that we hired from within. I continue to have a role here. I intend to be friend and confidante of Huntsman," she said.

Wiles called the campaign "an overwhelming commitment" that she couldn't and never wanted to keep up with. "I feel good about our launch. It’s now time to resume my life and get home," said Wiles, a Jacksonville resident who has had to spend an increasing amount of time in Orlando, where Huntsman's campaign is headquartered.

 "The only thing that's surprising is the exact day, not the fact I'm leaving. This is a natural progression of a campaign," she said.

-- Marc Caputo, Miami Herald

[Last modified: Thursday, July 21, 2011 3:35pm]

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