Paulette Jordan cropped may 2020

Paulette Jordan

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Just days before the primary election, Idaho Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate Paulette Jordan has lost her interim campaign manager. Holly Cook, who joined the campaign in February as press secretary, and then subsequently was promoted twice, first to communications manager and then on March 23 to interim director, cited three reasons for her departure, reviving memories of the turmoil and turnover among Jordan’s campaign staff during her 2018 gubernatorial campaign.

“I have some personal concern about the integrity of some of the people Ms. Jordan has chosen, from out of state, to work on her campaigns,” Cook said in a brief statement. “Without passing judgment, I do not want to be associated with even the appearance of dishonesty.”

She declined to elaborate. Cook also said payments for her services from the campaign fell behind schedule multiple times; and that she had differences with the candidate on “how to go about our working relationships with Idaho journalists, whom I hold in high regard.”

During Jordan’s run for governor, three of her top staffers resigned in September, a month and a half before the general election, telling reporters they couldn’t talk about it because of non-disclosure agreements. Former manager Michael Rosenow cited differences with Jordan in his resignation letter. Two staffers also left the gubernatorial campaign in May, just days before the 2018 primary election.

Cook declined to say Monday whether she signed a non-disclosure agreement.

Wayne Miller, the Senate campaign’s chief of staff and interim spokesman, said Cook is the only staffer who’s left, and it was a voluntary departure, not a firing. Cook left May 15.

Miller, a volunteer to whom Cook reported, said, in an email, “Prior to Holly’s work as interim campaign manager for the primary she had some difficulties with some of her colleagues, one of whom was from out of state. That individual has not been part of the campaign since Holly became primary campaign manager. So, I assume that her comments extend back to that time. Holly has never complained to me about the integrity of any individual and provided evidence of any kind that led me to follow up on any matter.”

He added, “I think Holly’s communications work for the campaign was very good. We all wish her well in her next endeavors." You can read my full story here at (subscription required), or pick up Tuesday's edition of the Idaho Press.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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