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Donald Trump’s campaign hires Romney-McCrory veteran as new North Carolina state director

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign has hired a new state director in North Carolina, state Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes confirmed Wednesday.

Jason Simmons has taken over the post previously held by Earl Phillip of Charlotte, Hayes said.

Simmons worked on Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign and then went to work for Gov. Pat McCrory.

Hayes said Simmons’ challenge is to build up what has been a sparse Trump organization in this key battleground state.

“He’s got to get them more organized than they are,” Hayes said, adding that Simmons also will need to work with the state party and the Republican National Committee to make sure all their ground game plans and efforts complement each other.

“We’re looking for him to get his ducks in a row,” Hayes said of Simmons and the Trump campaign in North Carolina. “(Phillip) had an organization, but it needs to be built out.”

Simmons was recommended to the national Trump campaign by Russell Peck, McCrory’s campaign manager, reported Politico, citing a source with knowledge of the situation.

Phillip is the state Republican Party’s former director for minority engagement.

Last weekend, Phillip spoke at Antioch Road to Glory International Ministries in Charlotte to encourage support for Trump.

Hayes said Phillip “is pursuing other options” and called the decision to give Simmons the job “politically amicable.”