A source within the campaign tells UtahPolicy three staffers recently left the organization, including Rob Miller who was handling media and communications for the campaign. To be fair, one of those staffers left to take a job in Washington, D.C.
When contacted, Miller confirmed he had left the campaign but declined comment other than to say “Peter Cooke has my vote and my endorsement. I wish him well in November’s election.”
Sources tell Utah Policy a rift had developed over the messaging in the campaign, specifically Cooke’s press conference to clarify his stance against same-sex marriage and civil unions. Miller was against the move while other campaign advisors advocated for it.
Reportedly, Miller also wasn’t pleased about the hiring of Jan Hemming to handle the media for the campaign as that was originally supposed to be Miller’s role.
Mary Bishop, campaign manager for Cooke tells Utah Policy that Miller left on his own volition. “Campaign personnel changes all the time. We’ve had people coming in and out,” says Bishop. “He left us and we appreciate everything he did for us.”
As to the issue of Jan Hemming, Bishop says she comes to the campaign with a really deep resume and is doing a good job for them.
Utah Policy previously reported on internal divisions caused by a press conference held by the Cooke campaign at Hill Air Force base. Hemming admitted that no one from the campaign made a preliminary call to Hill asking for permission to hold the event outside the base. They ended up holding the presser at an abandoned gas station down the road.