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POLITICS: PennAve

Dave Brat doesn't have a 23-year-old campaign manager anymore

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Politics,Virginia,Betsy Woodruff,2014 Elections,Campaigns,PennAve,Eric Cantor,House Republicans,Dave Brat

Dave Brat has a new campaign manager, and she's an Eric Cantor alum.

The Randolph-Macon College professor who just beat Cantor, the House majority leader, in his Republican primary has announced that Amanda Chase will take the reins of his campaign. Chase worked as Cantor’s political director in 2010. She also worked on Susan Stimpson’s 2013 campaign for lieutenant governor.

And Chase was one of the first people to say publicly that Brat could defeat Cantor.

“This is probably the first time that Eric has had a credible opponent with a comparable education and background,” she told National Review Online in January, adding that Cantor was formidable but not unbeatable.

So Chase will bring more experience to the campaign.

Meanwhile, the previous manager, Zachary Werrell, age 23, will stay on staff to help with the changes.

“I’m looking forward to the road ahead of me, and I’m looking forward to what lies ahead,” Werrell told the Washington Examiner on Thursday after a Brat press conference.

Werrell helmed the Brat campaign during the primary after having worked on just one previous race, a general-election contest for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. According to prepared remarks from the press conference, Brat praised Werrell for his “dedication and tireless hours of work.”

Brat also pushed back against reports that he had gone into hiding since his win against Cantor.

“Contrary to media reports that say we’ve been on vacation for a week, we’ve been trying to answer the thousands of emails and phone calls we’ve received since last Tuesday,” he said. “And we’ve been doing that with CNN trucks parked in front of my house for days. The kids thought that was pretty cool ... for about three hours … until they figured they couldn’t go play outside anymore.”

Since primary night, Brat has brought on Brian Gottstein, former spokesman for ex-state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, along with other new hires. Brat had only two paid staff during his primary campaign. In the November general election, he will face fellow Randolph-Macon professor Jack Trammell.

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