Two staffers leave Walsh's House campaign

  • Joe Walsh

    Joe Walsh

  • U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean

    U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean

  • Bill Scheurer

    Bill Scheurer

Published: 2/22/2010 12:41 PM | Updated: 2/22/2010 3:50 PM

Two key staffers who helped lead Republican congressional hopeful Joe Walsh to victory in the suburban 8th District's GOP primary have left the campaign, the candidate confirmed Monday.

Campaign managers Jim Thacker and Sheila Morgan no longer are with the Walsh team. Both were brought aboard to lead the campaign in December after a previous manager quit.

Neither Thacker nor Morgan was fired, Walsh said. Both were hired specifically for the primary campaign, he said.

Walsh said he hopes to bring both back to the campaign but doesn't have the money to do so now.

"I ended the primary with 10 cents in the pot," Walsh said.

Neither Morgan nor Thacker could be reached for comment.

A primary-campaign field worker named Rick Cape is now running the day-to-day campaign operations, Walsh said. More staff positions could be filled within the next week or two, he said.

Walsh, of Winnetka, defeated five other GOP candidates in the Feb. 2 primary battle. He'll now face three-term Democratic incumbent Melissa Bean and Green Party candidate Bill Scheurer of Lindenhurst.

Walsh's primary campaign was marred by allegations of financial problems. His first campaign manager, Keith Liscio, quit in December and later sued Walsh, accusing him of not paying him $20,000 for his services.

Walsh's fundraising lagged behind two other candidates' efforts in the primary race, and he admitted disappointment about that before Election Day.

On Monday, Walsh said he is "in fundraising mode now" and will have enough cash to compete against the well-funded Bean.

Bean had more than $784,000 in the bank in mid-January, the end of the last reporting period. Walsh had less than $7,000 remaining at the same point.

Walsh knows it will cost millions to buy advertising and run a competitive race, and he acknowledged he has a lot of ground to make up.

But he also insisted he doesn't need to match Bean's fundraising totals to beat her. The grass-roots support he believes propelled him to victory in the primary will give him a boost in November's general election, Walsh said.

Bean declined to comment.

The 8th District includes parts of Cook, Lake and McHenry counties.