Top aide to Herman Cain plans to leave presidential campaign

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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A top aide to Herman Cain is leaving her post with the Republican presidential campaign.

The staffer, Ellen Carmichael, is Cain’s spokeswoman and communications director. Carmichael told TheDC about her departure on Saturday. She said her exit from the campaign is “effective immediately.”

The news comes as Cain is working to build on momentum from winning the Florida Straw Poll.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to serve him, but have chosen to pursue other professional opportunities,” Carmichael told TheDC in an email. “I will not provide any additional comment at this time, and I wish him the best of luck on the campaign trail.” (RELATED: Michael Steele to Perry: ‘Just lay it out there’ like Herman Cain)

Carmichael, a Louisiana native who has a reputation for being well-liked by members of the press, began working for Cain in April of 2010. She also worked for his company, T.H.E. New Voice, and Cain’s exploratory committee before he jumped into the race.

In an email, J.D. Gordon, a foreign policy adviser to Cain who is also now Cain’s chief campaign spokesman, said “Carmichael decided to pursue other opportunities” and that they “appreciate her service to the campaign.” Gordon previously worked as a Defense Department spokesman, particularly on issues about Guantanamo detention operations and detainee-related litigation, according to his online biography.

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