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Paulette Jordan campaign manager quits days before Idaho Democratic primary


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BOISE (Idaho Statesman) — The campaign manager for Idaho U.S. Senate candidate Paulette Jordan quit just days before the state primary.

Holly Cook, a communications and public relations consultant, told the Statesman she decided to leave the campaign on May 15 for three reasons.

Cook said she entered an agreement with Jordan in February to provide campaign communications and management services, but “Jordan fell behind on my payment schedule multiple times.”

Cook also said she and Jordan “did not see eye-to-eye on how to go about our working relationships with Idaho journalists, whom I hold in high regard.”

“Finally, 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. Without passing judgment, I do not want to be associated with even the appearance of dishonesty,” Cook said.

Cook would not comment further on why she left the campaign.

“I value each and every experience I have working in Idaho politics. I learned from this experience, I am grateful for the opportunity, and I wish Ms. Jordan the best in her endeavors,” Cook said.

When asked for comment on Cook’s departure, Jordan referred the Statesman to a May 18 report by Idaho Press, which first broke the news about Cook leaving.

“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,” Jordan’s chief of staff, Wayne Miller, told the Idaho Press. “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.”

Jordan, of Plummer, faces Jim Vandermaas, of Eagle, in seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican incumbent Sen. Jim Risch in Nov. 3 general election. Ballots for the statewide May 19 primary, which is being conducted entirely via mail, are due June 2.

2018 redux?

Cook’s departure recalls turmoil with Jordan’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign.

Less than two months before the 2018 general election, in which Jordan was vying with Brad Little to be Idaho’s new governor, three of Jordan’s key campaign staffers abruptly quit citing ethical concerns including Jordan’s connection to a shadowy Super PAC.

The three staffers told the Statesman at the time that they could not discuss their resignations or the campaign because they had signed nondisclosure agreements.

When asked if Jordan had her a sign a nondisclosure agreement to work on the 2020 campaign, Cook told the Statesman, “I apologize that I won’t be able to answer that, as I cannot legally discuss any particulars regarding my agreement with the Jordan campaign.”