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McSally shuffles campaign leadership ahead of 2020

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                 Sen. Martha McSally lost to Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema last fall, but she was appointed several weeks later to fill late Sen. John McCain's former seat. York / AP Photo </p>
<p> Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) Is shaking up her campaign team ahead of her 2020 race, turning the page on her disappointing loss last year as she tries to protect a critical battleground Senate seat. 19659004] Terry Nelson, a veteran strategist and managing partner at FP1 Strategies, will take on the role of general consultant at McSally's campaign, according to multiple people familiar with the she. Nelson was previously national political director on President George W. Bush's 2004 reelection Nelson's firm was part of McSally's campaign team last year </p>
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Nelson is replacing Jeff Roe as the senator's top cons ultant Roe led McSally's operation last year and also ran her numerous congressional campaigns, and will remain as an adviser to the senator. Nelson was brought to McSally last week and is expected to take a thorough look at her campaign team in the coming weeks and months, according to people familiar with the campaign.

Nelson and McSally spokesperson declined to comment.

McSally lost to Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Last fall, but she was appointed several weeks later to fill late Sen. John McCain's former seat. She is running next year to the final two years of that term and already faces a high-profile Democratic challenger, forms astronaut Mark Kelly, who will likely be one of the most expensive and closely watched campaigns of the cycle in an emerging presidential battleground state

There was frustration about Roe's continued presence of the campaign team in some Republican circles – including the National Republican Senatorial Committee, allies of Senate leadership and some party donors – according to multiple Republican officials. Some of these Republicans were eager for different leadership on McSally's campaign this cycle after disagreements on the campaign's operation last year in a race McSally lost at 2 percentage points.

Multiple Republicans emphasized, however, that outside calls for leadership change did not pressure McSally into the decision. But faced the same pressure, but kept her team then.

“Anyone who knows Martha knows how to call the shots and is the commander of her team. Martha believes Terry puts her in the best position to win, ”said a person familiar with the campaign who requested anonymity to discuss internal matters. "Martha has empowered him to evaluate all roles and responsibilities for the entire team."

said in a statement that worked closely with McSally for six years, he was "proud of her victories and mournful of me." Roe said his top objective is to keep McSally in the Senate and said he was here last month he thought she should bring on another lead strategist, and should move to role as a senior adviser. He called Nelson the "right person at the right time" for the coming race.

"Being the [general consultant] at the highest levels of politics means you want the ball in your hand when it matters. It also means you know when to charge others, ”Roe said.

In addition to changing her top consultant, McSally also brought on several additional hires recently: Dillon Lefler will be deputy campaign manager and Hunter Mullins will be political director , according to two people familiar with the hires. Earlier worked in Arizona for campaigns for McCain and former Sen. Jeff Flake and Mullins were most recently at the Republican Governors Association.

The new hires underscore McSally's effort to approach her reelection as an incumbent differently than her first campaign for Senate. McSally had been under pressure from Republicans at multiple levels of the party, both in Arizona and Washington, to make changes after the 2018 loss. There were some Republicans frustrated by her campaign's last year who were equally well-documented by a memo published after the election that was largely blamed on the external factors.

Allies of Senate leadership are supportive of the new campaign structure, according to multiple Republican strategists, and believe McSally's new team puts it in a better position to defend the seat against Kelly, the top Democratic recruit this cycle.

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