Matt Lakin’s post will be temporarily filled by Chris Carr, a seasoned party insider who served as a top representative on former President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign.
Top Republicans are worried about the party’s data infrastructure beyond the 2020 election, which has prompted the GOP’s centralized voter data hub to organize a shakeup in its leadership.
Two sources with knowledge of the situation said that Matt Lakin, who had been the president and chief executive officer of Data Trust, will be leaving his job. Lakin’s post will be temporarily filled by Chris Carr, a seasoned party insider who served as a top representative on the reelection campaign of the previous president Donald Trump.
Late last month, Carr was initially hired by Data Trust as a senior adviser. At the time, senior Republicans said that part of his job would involve going on a “listening tour” to learn about party problems.
The GOP political apparatus heavily relies on Data Trust, which identifies itself as “the largest provider of voter and electoral data to Republican and conservative campaigns, parties, and advocacy organizations.” A crucial component of the tools used by campaigns and party organizations to forecast voter turnout and identify the voters Republican candidates ought to target is the organization’s voter data bank. Using that information, the party can contact voters through phone, web, direct mail, or in-person canvassing.
The 2011-founded Data Trust states that it has gathered information on over 300 million people. The Republican ecosystem as a whole, from the Republican Governors Association to the Republican National Committee, is served by the firm’s clients.
However, some prominent Republicans have expressed dissatisfaction with the rate of innovation and voter file upgrades at Data Trust in the wake of the party’s loss of the White House and the Senate in 2020.
Longtime party strategist Carr. Carr held prominent positions at the RNC and the National Republican Congressional Committee before working as political director on Trump’s reelection campaign. He managed the Nevada campaign for Republican candidate Mitt Romney in the 2012 election.
Lakin joined Data Trust in 2014, and in 2017 she was named CEO. He has also worked for former Republican Rep. Eric Cantor, making him a veteran of Capitol Hill.
In a memo to be distributed to Data Trust clients on Friday, Henry Barbour, the board chair of Data Trust, congratulated Lakin for generating “a large data gap over those on the left.” Having “personally developed and overseen a devoted staff of data gurus who will benefit Republican clientele for decades to come,” according to Barbour,
While Matt’s resignation leaves a significant gap in leadership at Data Trust, Barbour said, “We are lucky Chris will take the helm and keep us focused on helping our clients win elections.” Chris has the whole trust of the Data Trust Board, and we’re eager to work with him.”
“I am convinced Chris will be a wonderful leader of Data Trust to assist the organization in continues to strengthen the already phenomenal product it provides to Republican candidates and causes around the country,” said RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel in a statement.
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