May 12, 2015 2:50 PM

Steinhauser: Paul campaign official who licked lens keeping job

NH1 Political Director -

LONDONDERRY – He was caught on camera giving a licking to a Democratic political tracker, but regardless, one of Sen. Rand Paul’s top presidential campaign officials in New Hampshire is keeping his job.

The Republican senator from Kentucky’s presidential campaign confirmed to NH1 News on Tuesday that David Chesley will remain as Granite State political director for Paul’s White House bid.

Asked if Chesley would keep his campaign position, Doug Stafford, one of Paul’s top aides, said “that’s correct.”

The incident happened just as the senator’s town hall Monday at the Londonderry Lions Club was getting underway. A recording of the licking was quickly put out on-line by American Bridge, the pro-Democratic organization that employees the tracker, and instantly went viral on Twitter and other social media.

Tracking is becoming more and more common in politics, in the hopes of recording a political opponent making a gaffe or making a point that the opposition feels is controversial. Video trackers are often asked to leave events, sometimes politely , and sometimes by force. Other times their cameras are blocked by a candidate’s supporters.

But the licking appears to be a first.

The tracker is not new to New Hampshire. He spent last year in the Granite State as well, mostly following GOP Senate candidate Scott Brown, who was the Republican challenger to Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

“It's gross. That camera's been in the field since July, 2013 and was in the canoe chasing Scott Brown last year,” American Bridge spokesman Ben Ray told NH1 News.

Chesley is regarded in the political world as one of the upper tier of GOP strategists in the first-in-the-nation primary state.


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