WASHINGTON, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson's campaign manager and communications director have resigned.
NBC News reported that campaign manager Barry Bennett and communications director Doug Watts submitted their resignation Thursday afternoon, hours after announcing Carson raised $23 million over the past three months.
Watts issued a statement:
"Barry Bennett and I have resigned from the Carson campaign effective immediately. We respect the candidate and we have enjoyed helping him go from far back in the field to top-tier status. Having just announced raising [$23million] for the 4th [quarter], more than any other Republican candidate, and passing 1 million contributions and over 600 [million] unique donors since March, we are proud of our efforts for Dr. Carson and we wish him and his campaign the best of luck."
The departures come at an odd time for the Carson campaign, in the midst of mixed signals from the candidate about whether or not he planned to make staffing changes. It also comes after Carson has suffered a weeks-long slide backward in the polls. Earlier this week, Carson announced changes to his campaign were coming next week.
Jennifer Jacobs, chief politics reporter for the Des Moines Register, tweeted Thursday afternoon that Carson's Deputy Campaign Manager Lisa Coen had also resigned.
SCOOP: 3rd top Ben Carson aide quits - Deputy Campaign Manager Lisa Coen tells me she has resigned, too. #iacaucus— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) December 31, 2015