Exclusive: Back in Business? Rick Perry Paying Staff Again

Rick Perry
AP Photo/Jim Cole

Good news for former Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX): – the campaign has resumed paying some of its staff after financial issues forced them to freeze pay.

As Breitbart News reported, news broke at the beginning of this month that the Perry campaign would be freezing campaign salaries to make sure sufficient funds remained to allow Perry to maintain his busy travel schedule to conservative events and early primary states. All but one staffer, who had to leave for financial reasons, agreed to work on a volunteer basis, and many Team Perry members took to social media to express their confidence that their candidate, supported by the millions of dollars raised by his Super PACs, would be able to turn this situation around.

Perry’s campaign launched a fundraising push that pulled in several hundred thousand dollars, but it was not clear when or if the campaign staff might be paid again. Then, Monday evening, Breitbart News spoke to Perry campaign manager Jeff Miller, who said that they “had started putting people back on the payroll in Iowa and South Carolina.”

This is not the entire staff — Perry’s campaign headquarters are in Austin, Texas and they also have some staffers in New Hampshire — but it is a positive sign that they were able to start resuming pay less than a month later.

Perry also received a vote of confidence from Michael Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan, who posted several tweets on Sunday praising Perry’s experience and saying that “this country will be better off if [Perry] stays in the race,” imploring his followers to donate to him.

Multiple Perry staffers have told Breitbart News that their strategy is to work hard to win over Republican voters in the early primary states, and his travel schedule over the past few months confirms a heavy emphasis in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Having sufficient funds to continue traveling the next few months, and now able to start resuming staff pay, they are hopeful Perry can start breaking out of the crowded Republican field, currently at seventeen candidates.

The key will be watching the polls over the next few weeks. Perry has been stuck in the bottom tier, and missed the cutoff for the top tier for the first debate with Fox News. He delivered a solid performance in the earlier undercard debate, but was outshone by Carly Fiorina, who has seen improved poll numbers that may ensure her a spot in the top tier next time around.

The next debate is set for September 16, at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, less than a month away. It is unlikely that any of the other Republican contenders will drop out before then, so if Perry is unable to raise his poll numbers high enough to make the top tier, he will have to hope he can give a standout performance like Fiorina’s spotlight stealing moments last time around.

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.


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