New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is expanding his presidential campaign staff, a sign both that his fundraising has improved and that he is preparing to battle for the Republican nomination beyond the early states.
Christie until now has had one of the smallest campaign teams of the major candidates, with just 34 staffers. But Christie has hired six additional aides, four nationally and two in New Hampshire, bringing his campaign’s headcount to 40, senior officials said Tuesday.
“We have one of the most efficient and effective campaign teams in the race,” campaign manager Ken McKay said. “As this race continues to heat up, these new hires will support our expanding efforts on the ground and continue to drive Christie’s message to voters across the country.”
Two of the new hires come from Christie’s governor’s office and should bolster the campaign’s communications and research efforts. The moves come as the attention on Christie intensifies, from the media as well as from rival candidates.
Nicole Sizemore, the governor’s deputy press secretary, is joining the campaign as press secretary. Prior to her work in New Jersey, Sizemore served as deputy communications director for the Iowa Republican Party during the 2012 presidential caucuses. She also has worked in Ohio, which is both a critical general election battleground and one of the large Midwestern states with primaries on March 15.
Sarah Dolan, who has led the governor’s research efforts in Trenton, will become the campaign’s research and rapid response deputy director. Dolan has played a number of roles in the Christie administration since joining as an intern in 2011.
Two other hires, Bill Dunne and Caroline Potter, are national political field staffers who will focus on a range of primaries and caucuses.
The remaining two hires are focused on New Hampshire, joining a team led by the state Republican Party’s former executive director, Matt Mowers, a longtime Christie hand. Christie has staked his comeback hopes on a strong finish in New Hampshire’s Feb. 9 primary.
Devon Manchester, who most recently served in Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration, will become Christie’s deputy political director in New Hampshire. Kristen Yellen, a recent college graduate who worked on a California congressional campaign in the 2014 midterms, is coming onto the Christie team as New Hampshire volunteer director.