Smittcamp changes campaign team, but old and new consultants say it's no big deal

Posted by John Ellis on January 23, 2014 

Lisa Sondergaard Smittcamp

SPECIAL TO THE BEE

Fresno County District Attorney candidate Lisa Sondergaard Smittcamp started with one campaign team, and now she has another. And it's only January, with the election against incumbent Elizabeth Egan still more than four months away.

Does this say anything about the campaign? Is it a sign of internal campaign troubles? Maybe a disagreement over strategy or direction?

Not at all, said Tim Clark, her initial consultant.

The reality, the Sacramento-based consultant said, is not even close to that sensational. Her new, Fresno-based consultant, agreed.

Smittcamp is not someone who says simply, "go run my campaign," Clark said. "She says, 'I'm in, let's go, let's go, let's go.' It got to a point that I couldn't sustain that from Sacramento. I was burning up 99, for Pete's sake, and I couldn't do it anymore."

So Clark turned to Fresno consultant Tim Orman. The two, Clark said, worked together on the losing end of Fresno's Measure G campaign, which would have privatized residential trash hauling in the city. Clark is also Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin's consultant.

"Our campaign is very well arrayed," Orman said. "And Lisa's gained momentum every day."

Then again, Egan also has a Sacramento-based consultant -- Dave Gilliard -- and he's still doing the job.

Clark wasn't the only one replaced in Smittcamp's campaign. Also gone is campaign manager Isaac Kight and fundraiser Ann Kramer. It's a similar story for both, Clark said. Neither are local, and the race needed local people.

Kight, for instance, has done work in the past for Calaveras County Republican Rico Oller as well as the Republican Party, and was handling the day-to-day management of Smittcamp's campaign.

That job is now being handled by Clovis resident Lisa Ott, a veteran of several local political races who has also worked for the state Republican Party.

The fundraising is now being done in-house.

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