Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who has seen his approval rating in his state go into a death spiral following the signing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), has hired the communications director from Koch Industries to help him stop the bleeding as he gears up for re-election next year.
The IndyStar is reporting that Pence is bringing back former spokesperson Matt Lloyd to replace his current communications director Christy Denault who announced she is stepping down to spend more time with her family.
According to Pence chief of staff Jim Atterholt, Denault’s departure “has nothing to do with the RFRA issue. It was her decision to leave, made before RFRA, in order to attend to the needs of her young family, including a set of triplets.”
Lloyd served as Pence’s spokesperson when he launched his first gubernatorial bid four years ago and, with his re-election prospects next year looking grim, Lloyd is expected to bring his Koch connections along to help the embattled governor.
In 2013, Pence’s approval rating stood at at 52 percent, but the blow-back from his bungled handling of the RFRA has seen him drop to a 35 percent approval rating, below his 38 percent disapproval rating.
Pence and the Indiana legislature took a beating for the bill, seen as anti-gay, from the public and businesses costing the state millions in revenue and thousands of potential jobs