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Pressley picks new campaign manager

Meet City Council At-Large candidate Ayanna Pressley’s new campaign director: James Chisholm, a top aide to U.S. Sen. John Kerry.

According to one source close with the campaign, Pressley just wasn’t clicking with her (now former) campaign manager, Stuart Rosenberg.

So it’s no surprise that Pressley, a former aide to U.S. Sen. John Kerry, has turned to a friend and fellow Kerry aide to take over: Chisholm, who worked as a deputy press secretary and speechwriter for Kerry, officially started work on Pressley’s campaign on Monday.

Chisholm had previously done some volunteering for the campaign. He has also worked as a senior aide on Beacon Hill for state Rep. Timothy Toomey (D-Cambridge) and as a contributor to ESPN.com.

Rosenberg, who has worked as a campaign manager for Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry and as a regional field director for the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group, did not return multiple phone calls seeking comment.

“Stu was on for the beginning, the starting up,” Chisholm told the Reporter on Monday. “He did a great job.”

With the Sept. 22 preliminary election seven weeks away, the campaign’s focus is on getting Pressley in front of as many people as possible and upping her name recognition. The primary will winnow 15 candidates down to eight for the four seats.

(Asked whether the plan includes getting Sen. Kerry involved, Chisholm said that's still being discussed. “This is a very local race,” he added. “Ayanna is her own person.”)

A May poll by a fellow City Council contender aimed at gauging name recognition found her behind incumbents Stephen Murphy and John Connolly; Felix Arroyo Jr., the son of the former city councillor at-large; Ego Ezedi, who mounted a run against District 4 Councillor Charles Yancey; and Doug Bennett, who has been campaigning for an At-Large seat since May 2008.

Since then, Pressley has been on a heavy endorsement and fundraising spree.

(Nor has her campaign been the only one with changes up top. City Councillor At-Large Sam Yoon installed a new campaign manager last month, bringing in his City Hall chief of staff.)