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Democratic congressional candidate Doug Owens swapped campaign managers recently, a move he says was long planned, but his former aide asserts was made because they disagreed on direction.
Casey Frary moved from Washington, D.C., to lead Owens' race for the 4th District, replacing Emily Hollingshead, who is now assisting four Democratic candidates for legislative and county offices.
"Doug and I just didn't see eye to eye on how things should go," Hollingshead said Monday. "It was a kind of mutually agreed upon change."
She said Owens wanted to put more emphasis on getting his message out through the media, while she wanted to spend more time knocking on doors and getting out the vote.
"He's got a great family. If he manages to pull this off, he'll be a great congressman," Hollingshead said. "I wish him all the best."
Owens is seen as an underdog against Republican Mia Love, the former mayor of Saratoga Springs. They are competing in the district now represented by Jim Matheson, a Democrat who opted against seeking an eighth term in office. The district skews Republican, and Matheson narrowly beat Love in 2012.
Love ended up changing her campaign manager twice during her first run for Congress. She brought on a new person this time, Dave Hansen, who previously managed Sen. Orrin Hatch's re-election bids.
Owens downplayed any disagreements with Hollingshead.
"We always planned to bring on an experienced manager," said the first-time candidate. "I appreciate Emily's contributions to launch the campaign.
"I'm thrilled to have Casey Frary officially on board as our first full-time campaign manager."
Frary managed Rep. Steve Kagen's D-Wisc., 2008 re-election victory. Since then, she has worked for the American Foreign Service Association and for a political-consulting firm named Southpaw Associates, where her primary client was Public Campaign, a group advocating for election reforms.
She was looking to hook onto a congressional campaign and, through mutual friends, heard that Owens was looking to make a change.
Frary arrived in Utah on July 12. She has not previously spent any time in the state.
She says her job is to ensure the 4th District understands the differences between Owens and Love.
"The important thing is to make sure voters get to see and know who Doug is and why he is the best choice to represent Utah."