McCain Campaign Manager, Deputy Head for the Door

Two top members of John McCain's Senate re-election team are heading for the door as the long-time Arizona senator continues to grapple with a Republican primary challenger.

Campaign manager Shiree Verdone, along with part-time deputy campaign manager Mike Hellon, are leaving the McCain camp to work on a "Republican Victory" fundraising arm for the state party.

But campaign spokesman Brian Rogers told the departure of the two staffers was planned "since the early part of this year." He said the change-up does not reflect any inner turmoil, and that the campaign will announce their replacements in "the coming weeks."

He said strategists Rick Davis, Mark Salter and Charlie Black are all still on board.

"We're moving forward," Rogers said. "The decision-making and strategy team is consistent and it's all the same."

McCain is facing off against former Rep. J.D. Hayworth in the GOP primary. Polls over the past month have shown the former 2008 presidential candidate leading by between 5 and 12 percentage points.

The Republican Victory group is being formed to support Republican candidates in the general election. Should Hayworth win, the organization Verdone and Hellon are joining would be obligated to support him.