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Wesley Clark's campaign manager quits

Former Clinton aides taking charge

From Jonathan Karl
CNN Washington Bureau

Wesley Clark campaigns in Iowa on Monday, a day before his campaign manager quit.
Wesley Clark campaigns in Iowa on Monday, a day before his campaign manager quit.

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Wesley Clark
Presidential Election

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- With former Clinton operatives taking over day-to-day control of the campaign, Donnie Fowler resigned Tuesday night as campaign manager for Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark.

Two men who helped run Bill Clinton's successful 1992 race for president -- Eli Segal of Boston, the first CEO of the Corporation for National Service, and former Cabinet secretary Mickey Kantor of Los Angeles -- had begun running the campaign on a day-to-day basis along with former Ambassador Richard Sklar of San Francisco over the past week.

"Donnie became upset that his power had been usurped and left. It is as simple as that," a source close to the campaign said.

Fowler, a South Carolina lawyer who was political director in 2000 for the losing Democratic presidential team of Al Gore and Joseph Lieberman and son of onetime party chairman Don Fowler, only met Clark for the first time five weeks ago, a senior campaign aide said. According to CNN's other source, he had had few conversations with the candidate.

Fowler also worked in both of Clinton's presidential campaigns as well as the 1988 White House bid of another of this year's Democratic hopefuls, Richard Gephardt.

Segal praised Fowler in a statement for doing "an outstanding job of getting our campaign off the ground."

"He was instrumental in overseeing the integration of various grassroots organizations into our national structure. Donnie helped us move from a small, three-room office to a 5,900 square foot headquarters," Segal said. "We raised $3.5 million in just two weeks. And we've put key staff in place.

"General Clark and all of us at the campaign are grateful for his efforts."

Following Clinton's election, Kantor served as Commerce Secretary and U.S. trade representative under Clinton.

Sklar is a businessman who ran one of California's largest construction companies and was later an ambassador in the Balkans.

CNN Political Editor John Mercurio contributed to this report from Los Angeles.

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