Huckabee campaign cuts senior staff salaries

Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign has slashed senior staffer’s salaries, a move that comes amid the former Arkansas governor’s struggles to gain traction in his second White House bid.

Hogan Gidley, the campaign’s senior communications adviser, confirmed to CNN Thursday the campaign cut salaries for senior staff members. The decision was made several months ago, Gidley said.

Politico reported Thursday that the campaign reduced those salaries in recent weeks, timing that would coincide with Huckabee spokeswoman Alice Stewart’s abrupt departure earlier this week.

“We made some adjustments to senior staff salaries several months ago because we wanted to put those resources into people in Iowa,” Gidley said Thursday.

Huckabee, who won the Iowa caucuses in 2008, has struggled to get his campaign off the ground in a crowded GOP scrum, and is currently polling between 1% and 3% in that state, according to the various surveys.

While he initially qualified for the prime-time debate of Republican contenders, recently Huckabee’s sagging numbers left him stuck in the undercard event for lower-polling candidates.

Gidley said the campaign now has 13 full-time paid staffers in Iowa and has deployed additional staffers to the first caucus state from its headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas.

“The point was we were trying to push resources to Iowa,” Gidley said.

Gidley rejected the premise that the salary cuts reflect a struggling campaign: “That’s not a sign of anything. That’s understanding the importance of Iowa.”

He added that he did not anticipate any more changes to staffing or salary levels in the coming weeks.

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