Two Former Gingrich Campaign Staffers Return in Iowa

Nov 17, 2011 8:38pm

“It’s good to have some old friends come back,” R.C. Hammond, spokesperson for the Newt Gingrich campaign, told ABC News about the return of two former Iowa staff members.

The shifting political winds have blown two former campaign staffers back to the Gingrich campaign, which has seen a large uptick in the polls, putting Gingrich in the top three for the Republican presidential nomination. The campaign has also increased drastically in fundraising in recent months, which was once $1 million in debt.

Hammond said the campaign has raised a total of $4 million in the fourth quarter so far.

The returning staff members are Craig Schoenfeld and Katie Koberg, who left the campaign in June among the mass exodus of two national advisers and several other Iowa staff members.

“What you’ve seen over the past six months is Newt establish himself as the smartest candidate, capable of leading, an increase in fundraising, showing he’s able to run a national campaign and growth of staff and grassroots efforts in several states where he’ll be able to compete in each contest,” Hammond said.

The campaign said they’re seeing tremendous support in Iowa with Linda Upmeyer as Gingrich’s caucus chair. There will be other staffing announcements soon. Last week, Gingrich opened up his campaign offices in Manchester, N.H., and Greenville, S.C.

The return of Schoenfeld and Koberg will be an asset to the Gingrich campaign in Iowa.

“They have an understand of the nuts and bolts of how to turn out people for caucus,” Hammond said.

Koberg is a Carroll, Iowa, native and has a tremendous understanding of the community, according to Hammond.

Schoenfeld is a lawyer in West Des Moines and previously served on George W. Bush’s Iowa caucus team in 2000; he also managed Bush’s presidential campaign in Iowa.

When Schoenfeld left the Gingrich campaign in June, he went to work for “Americans for Rick Perry” as the executive director of the Iowa branch of the Super PAC. A senior consultant for the Perry Super PAC called Schoenfeld “the best operative in the state,” in a press release from the AFRP announcing Schoenfeld’s arrival. Rick Perry has seen a drop in the polls in recent months.

Concerning Schoenfeld’s work to elect Perry and then returning to the Gingrich campaign, Hammond said Schoenfeld was just a professional hired for his services elsewhere.

Gingrich returns on Saturday to Iowa, where he will take part in the Family Leader’s Thanksgiving Family Forum in Des Moines.

The Iowa Caucus will take place on Jan. 3.

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