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Two Aides Leave Dewhurst Campaign in Runoff Shake-Up

Two of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's top political aides have left his campaign amid internal conflict about the direction of his re-election bid.

Lt Governor David Dewhurst speaks to supporters in Houston, Tuesday March 4, 2014 after it became clear he would head into a runoff.

Amid internal conflict about the direction of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's re-election bid, two of his top political aides have left his campaign, The Texas Tribune has confirmed.

"Everyone agrees that there is a path to victory, but there is disagreement about what that path to victory is," said Dewhurst communications director Travis Considine.

Considine said Wednesday that he and research director Andy Hemming parted ways from the campaign during a staff meeting the day before in resignations that were effective immediately. 

At the meeting, Dewhurst discussed bringing two Houston-based consultants, Joe Manero and Chris Beavers, into the campaign hierarchy, Considine said.

Before Considine confirmed the departures, Beavers was asked by the Tribune to clarify his position with the campaign. Beavers said he had no official role.

“I’m in Houston and I’m a friend of the governor’s, and I help some here and talk to him from time to time,” he said.

The Tribune has reached out to Beavers and Manero for further comment on the developments and will update this post with any responses.  

The shake-up comes two months before Dewhurst, a 12-year incumbent who received 28 percent of the vote in March's Republican primary, is set to face challenger Dan Patrick in a May runoff. Patrick, a state senator from Houston, finished ahead of Dewhurst by a 14-point margin in the March primary.

Considine said that he continued to believe Dewhurst was "the most conservative choice in the race."

"I am proud to have worked for a man who helped build the Texas Miracle. I learned a lot from his leadership," he said. 

He said he could not comment on whether other staff members, like campaign manager Ryan Hecker, would also step down.

It is the second time in as many election cycles Dewhurst has found himself in a primary runoff. In his 2012 bid for U.S. Senate, he suffered a double-digit runoff loss to Ted Cruz. For his 2014 re-election bid, Dewhurst sought new political advisers. He brought on Hecker, who was previously the chief operating officer of FreedomWorks, as well as Considine and Hemming, in spring of last year. Before working on Dewhurst's re-election bid, Considine worked on Josh Mandel's unsuccessful 2012 U.S. Senate campaign in Ohio. Hemming had previously worked with Considine on Meg Whitman's 2010 bid for California governor.

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Politics 2014 elections Dan Patrick David Dewhurst