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McConnell’s Campaign Manager Resigns To Avoid Being ‘Distraction’

Jesse Benton, once a political strategist for Ron Paul, resigned as campaign manager for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Friday.
Image credit: Charles Dharapak

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager has resigned, citing “inaccurate press accounts” about his role in past campaigns.

The scandal in question revolves around former Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson, who pleaded guilty Wednesday to hiding — and lying about — payments he received in 2012 to switch his endorsement from Rep. Michele Bachmann to then-Rep. Ron Paul.

Jesse Benton, who until Friday worked for McConnell, was Paul’s campaign chairman at the time.

In a statement given to The Lexington Herald-Leader, which first reported Benton’s resignation, Benton said “there have been inaccurate press accounts and unsubstantiated media rumors about me and my role in past campaigns that are politically motivated, unfair and, most importantly, untrue.”

He added that the allegations could become a “distraction” to McConnell’s re-election campaign.

There “is no more important cause for both Kentucky, my new home I have come to love, and our country than electing Mitch McConnell Majority Leader of the United States Senate,” Benton said.

(The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky., posted the full written statement.)

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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