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McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton resigns

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LOUISVILLE, Kentucky — Sen. Mitch McConnell's campaign manager has resigned as a result of a scandal involving a presidential campaign he worked for in 2012.

Jesse Benton said Friday he'll step down from his top role in the Republican senator's campaign effective Saturday.

Benton calls the decision heartbreaking but the right one to keep the matter from becoming a distraction in Kentucky's Senate campaign.

His announcement stems from a scandal in Iowa. This week, a former Iowa lawmaker pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from his switch of support from one Republican presidential candidate to another before the 2012 Iowa caucuses.

Former state Sen. Kent Sorenson received thousands of dollars in "under the table payments" before switching loyalties from Michele Bachmann to Ron Paul. Benton was Paul's political director at the time.

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