Earlier in the presidential race, McKay served as campaign manager to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who dropped out and endorsed Trump in February. A week and a half ago, Trump picked up Rick Wiley, who managed Scott Walker’s campaign before the Wisconsin governor left the race in September. And in late March, he snagged Ed Brookover, who was Ben Carson’s campaign manager until the neurosurgeon dropped out.
McKay, a native of Rhode Island, ran gubernatorial races there for Donald Carcieri in 2002 and 2006, winning both. He was chief of staff at the Republican National Committee under Chairman Michael Steele from March 2009 to April 2010. He helped Florida Republican Rick Scott claim the governor’s office in 2010, and served as political director at the Republican Governors Association under Christie’s chairmanship in 2014 and 2015, helping usher in a wave of GOP governors nationwide.
“This is a serious strategist and tactician,” said Curt Anderson, who was former presidential candidate Bobby Jindal’s chief strategist but is now unaffiliated with any campaign. He has known McKay for about 15 years. “This is not a guy who wastes his time going on cable TV and running his mouth. Trump hiring Ken McKay is a bad thing for the Ted Cruz campaign, I can assure you of that.”