The New Hampshire campaign team for Republican candidate Rick Perry's presidential bid has disbanded.
"It has entirely disbanded," said Michael Dennehy, who was Perry's senior advisor overseeing the New Hampshire operation. Including himself, he said there were two paid staffers, three part-timers and several interns. Dante Vitagliano, who was Perry's New Hampshire political director, left to join John Kasich's campaign earlier this week.
Dennehy said he hasn't seen or spoken with Perry since the former Texas governor left New Hampshire on Aug. 4 after participating in the Union Leader's Voters First Forum. He also hasn't been asked for any advice.
"It would be a little disingenuous to call me an advisor," he said. "(But) I remain a strong supporter of Governor Perry's."
Dennehy said he has had a few conversations with Perry's campaign manager over the past month.
"I gave my unsolicited advice, which was to go camp out in Iowa," he said. "That's where he's invested the most amount of resources in the last five years."
Dennehy said he was paid by the campaign through June, but hasn't been paid since. Similar issues have been reported with Perry staffers in South Carolina and Iowa, where he has just one remaining paid operative.
He said he isn't at all upset with the way Perry campaigned in New Hampshire. The candidate has made 45 stops in the state dating back to 2014, according to necn's 2016 Candidate Tracker. But with a field of candidates this large, and with Donald Trump dominating the headlines, he said it was tough to build momentum. A Public Policy Polling survey of Granite State voters released last week had Perry in 11th place among GOP contenders at just 2 percent.
"I'm absolutely disappointed that he's not been able to get the second chance that I think he deserves, but let's face it, there are 17 candidates for president and one candidate in particular is getting the lion's share of attention right now," Dennehy said. "It's next to impossible for any candidate to break through right now."
Still, he said he thinks things will change at some point, and there's a chance that Perry could resurface.
"If he focuses on Iowa, I think that is his best chance to break through when there is a shakeup in the campaign, and ultimately there will be a shakeup," Dennehy said. "I'm always hopeful, but the uphill battle just got a bit steeper."