Amid Money Woes, Top Bush Campaign Aide Let Go

Leigh Ann Caldwell
Jeb Bush
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Amid financial trouble plaguing Jeb Bush's campaign, a high ranking official has been let go. Christine Ciccone, the COO of the organization, is the first high profile aide to leave the campaign.

Ciccone "was really important. She was high up in the campaign; she ran the headquarters," an adviser not involved in day-to-day operations told NBC News.

Ciccone made a little more than $12,000 per month, according to FEC records. But like much of the staff, her pay was reduced at the end of August.

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"We are grateful to have had Christine on the team, we respect her immensely," a Bush campaign spokeswoman tells NBC News.

The Bush campaign sent out a memo last week detailing organizational changes amid financial struggles. They included a reduction in staff, a paring down of the headquarters in Miami and an addition 40 percent pay cut for all staff.

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At a donor meeting in Texas last week, Bush attempted to alleviate concerns of donors worried about his lagging poll numbers. He promised them a course correction and that he would be a better candidate.

But things didn't get much better for Bush at the third Republican debate Wednesday night. A forced attack against his former mentee, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, came off contrived and amateurish. After that back and forth at the beginning of the night Bush had little opportunity to speak.

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Bush entered the presidential race with high expectations as donors flocked to his corner and he hired some of the best people in Republican politics. But he has been unable to live up to those expectations polling in the high single digits in most polls even as he's campaigned heavily and television advertisements supporting him have hit the airwaves in early voting states.

Ciccone has long ties to the Bush family. She was an official in President George W. Bush's administration. She is also an executive vice president at Sphere Consulting, a lobbying firm in Washington, DC.