WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Former Texas Gov. Rich Perry's campaign is no longer paying his 2016 campaign staff in the midst of low polling numbers and sluggish fundraising, a move that may herald the death knell for his bid for the Republican nomination.
Perry has stopped paying staff at the campaign's national headquarters in Austin, as well as in the early caucus and primary states of South Carolina, Iowa and New Hampshire in his 2016 election bid. Perry campaign manager Jeff Miller told staff Friday, after the first Republican presidential debate, they would no longer be paid and are free to look for other employment. So far, most have stayed with Perry, his campaign said.
"Tough decisions have to be made in respect to both monetary and time-related resources," Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said late Monday. "Gov. Perry remains committed to competing in the early states and will continue to have a strong presence in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina."
Perry has struggled to keep momentum in his second bid for president. He raised some $1.1 million in the second quarter. His campaign will depend mostly on the cash-flush super PAC to expand its political operations. Perry was also relegated to the second-string Republican debates last week, despite an advertising push.
Perry's core team, including Katon Dawson, Perry's South Carolina state director, as well as Walter Whetsell and Le Frye, two top Perry operatives in the state, vowed to continue working without pay.
"Pay is only one reason people do this," Dawson said. "We'll be able to live off the land for a while."
Also seeking the Republican nomination are former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former New York Gov. George Pataki, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and real estate tycoon, reality TV star Donald Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
For the Democratic nomination are former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee and former Maryland Gov. are in the running.