Staffers quit Callahan GOP congressional campaign
SALEM — Core campaign staff for the Republican candidate to represent Oregon's 5th district in Congress resigned earlier this month.
Two former staffers for the campaign said Monday that they resigned in early August due to "unrecoverable issues" in the Mark Callahan campaign.
Callahan is running against Democratic incumbent Rep. Kurt Schrader to represent a district ranging from parts of the coast to the southern Portland suburbs and the Willamette Valley, including Wilsonville.
A third staffer, Callahan's deputy campaign manager, who also resigned, could not be immediately reached for comment late Monday.
Now an Oregon City resident, Callahan has previously run for public office unsuccessfully several times in Oregon. He lost bids for the U.S. Senate in 2014 and '16; a seat on the Mt. Hood Community College Board of Directors in 2015; and attempts to win Oregon House of Representatives District 13 in Eugene in 2010 and '12.
Callahan claims the two staffers are "disgruntled" that they were not paid in full, and says they did not do the work he hired them to do.
Alex Rountree, Callahan's former campaign manager, says he resigned Aug. 9.
Ken Crow, a former senior adviser to the campaign, also resigned in early August. He said he'd grown increasingly concerned about issues in Callahan's past.
Some of Crow's claims — Callahan's prior bankruptcies, for example — are part of the public record. Other allegations, some involving the candidate's family life, could not be independently corroborated by the EO/Pamplin Capital Bureau late on Monday.
Crow said he felt if the issues came to light, it would have been impossible for the campaign to overcome them, which is why he resigned.
"It's time America sends good people to Washington, and I wasn't willing to send this guy to Washington, just to be candid with you," Crow said. "I didn't want him representing you."
Crow and Rountree had worked for Callahan since early June, after Callahan won the Republican nomination in May.
In a phone interview late Monday, Callahan denied Crow's allegations.
While he acknowledged the bankrupticies were public record, Callahan claimed Crow and Rountree failed to raise money, as he says they were hired to do.
"I did pay them, I did give them some money," Callahan said, "But they weren't doing their job, and money wasn't coming into the campaign as the result of them not doing their job. And consequently they're disgruntled about it, and they'll do anything to bring me down because of their motivation and them being disgruntled."
Crow, in response, denied that he or other staffers were disgruntled about money.
"We knew we would be paid ultimately," he wrote in a text message. "We were however very disillusioned with the seemingly never ending negative information coming out about the candidate."