PORTSMOUTH (AP) — Sen. John McCain has made another change in his struggling campaign, dismissing his New Hampshire campaign manager on Friday.
Jim Martin had run the Arizona Republican's campaign in the state and was part of McCain's 2000 victory in the state. But the campaign decided to replace him with Jim Barnett, who had been a top political operative. McCain's New Hampshire Communications Director Jill Hazelbaker said the departure came Friday.
"While we appreciate his hard work, Jim Barnett will assume the day-to-day responsibilities going forward," she said. "Barnett is a talented political professional with extensive campaign experience, and he will work closely with Mike Dennehy to build out our ground operation to ensure that we win the primary."
Barnett had served as the chairman of the Vermont Republican Party and joined the McCain campaign as the regional political director.
"We need someone who knows what it takes on every level of a campaign and understand a get-out-the-vote process. Jim Barnett is that person," said Dennehy, a McCain consultant who stepped down earlier this week as national political director and returned to help New Hampshire's office. "I'm going to work very closely with Jim on the historical knowledge of the state."
The campaign says the move underscores the importance of the state to McCain, who won here over party favorite and then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush in 2000.
The shake-up comes in the wake of Dennehy's resignation to relocate his family to New Hampshire. His young son suffers from Down's Syndrome and the family thought the schools in Concord would be a better fit.
Earlier this year, McCain restructured his campaign fundraising organization after a lackluster first quarter. The campaign says the moves reflect the fluid nature of all campaigns.