Kamala Harris overhauls Senate campaign amid spending questions

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California Attorney General Kamala Harris (D), the favorite to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in the Senate, has parted ways with her campaign manager and is slashing costs amid questions over whether she’s spending too much in the primary.
Harris’ campaign manager Rory Steele has left and will be replaced by Juan Rodriguez, a seasoned California political operative who had been serving as a senior adviser to the campaign, The Hill has learned.
{mosads}The campaign will reduce headcount and cut spending in other areas as well, an aide confirmed.
“Like every campaign, we’re making adjustments in alignment with our strategy to win,” spokesman Nathan Click wrote in an email. 
“Kamala Harris has proven herself to be one of the strongest fundraisers in the country this election cycle and our campaign is going to have the resources to win in June and November. We are making some additional reductions to our consultants and staff to put our campaign in the strongest position to win.”
The moves come just weeks after a Sacramento Bee report about the Harris campaign’s “spending problem.” The story detailed the big dollars the campaign has laid out for small-dollar fundraising, overhead for its Los Angeles staff and headquarters, and travel for fundraisers across the country.
Harris hauled in $1.8 million in the third quarter, but spent almost as much.
Furthermore, while Harris finished September with more than $3 million in cash-on-hand, a majority of the money is reserved for the general election. The Sacramento Bee analysis found that Harris has only $1.3 million available for the primary.
Still, Harris remains the prohibitive favorite to replace Boxer in the Senate in deep-blue California.
A Field Poll released last month found Harris taking 30 percent support in the open primary, with Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif) at 17 percent, Republican Assemblyman Rocky Chavez at 9 percent, and former California GOP chairman Tom Del Beccaro at 6 percent.
None of those candidates has come close to matching Harris’ fundraising prowess. However, Sanchez is running a far leaner campaign and has $1.2 million in eligible primary cash — nearly as much as Harris — according to the Sacramento Bee.
In California’s open primary, all candidates regardless of party face off on the ballot in June, with the top two vote-getters advancing to the general election next November.
Amie Parnes contributed.
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