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Struggling Bilbray campaign replaces manager

Congressional candidate Erin Bilbray on Friday parted ways with her second campaign manager as the Democrat moved to bolster her struggling bid to defeat U.S. Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., in the Nov. 4 general election.

Bilbray political director Adriana Martinez will take over for the departing Erica Prosser, who worked for a Democratic consulting firm before she was hired in January to replace Bilbray’s first campaign manager, Bradley Mayer.

Bilbray and Prosser “agreed that it would be in the best strategic interest for her to step down as manager,” the campaign said in a statement, adding, “We look forward to the next phase of the campaign.”

Bilbray’s campaign has struggled to gain traction against Heck and the candidate has made some mistakes, including calling her opponent “un-American” despite his service in Iraq as a colonel in the Army Reserve. Most political analysts have predicted Heck, who is seeking a third term in the 3rd Congressional District, would likely win re-election.

In an interview, Bilbray acknowledged some missteps.

“We had a bit of a string of bad luck,” she said. “It was a mutual agreement. It just wasn’t the right fit.”

“I’m very lucky, though, that my political director has so much experience,” Bilbray added. “We’re very excited. There’s a lot of energy in this campaign and Adriana is going to be a part of it. I feel really blessed that I have someone who is such a close friend that is taking this role” as campaign manager. “I know she always has my back.”

Martinez is a former chairwoman of the Nevada Democratic Party and was a community organizer for the Culinary Union. She’s a co-founder with Bilbray of Emerge Nevada, a group that trains Democratic female candidates to run for office. Martinez has also worked for Las Vegas City Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian.

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