Caucus, grassroots pushback led to the loss of Harper’s key campaign man

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has experienced a rare case of pushback from both his caucus and grassroots party members that forced him to cut loose his handpicked campaign specialist.

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper has experienced a rare case of pushback from both his caucus and grassroots party members that forced him to cut loose his handpicked campaign specialist.

The Conservatives are scrambling to fill the party executive director post vacated Sunday by Dimitri Soudas.

It’s the latest departure of a key Harper confidant; the prime minister lost chief of staff Nigel Wright to the Senate spending scandal last May.

MPs and rank-and-file Tories were unhappy and uncomfortable with what they saw unfold around Soudas and his fiancee, MP Eve Adams.

There were mounting concerns that Soudas was using his position to help Adams secure a contested nomination in a newly created suburban Toronto riding.

Sources say the situation became so uncomfortable that even Harper could not stand by Soudas, who worked with the PM, on-and-off, for a decade.

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