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Communications Duo

Andrea Hofelich has jumped on board as the new communications director for the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.

The 30-year-old has been busy since her 1994 graduation from Rutgers University. In fact, as the recipient of two bachelor’s degrees — one in journalism and one in a combination of history and political science — she was busy while she was there.

While fresh out of college, the Southampton, Pa., native worked for several local legislative races in New Jersey. She then served as press secretary for the campaigns of Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.) and then-Rep. Richard Zimmer (R-N.J.). After that, she worked in media relations at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and served as director of Web content for the Chamber prior to the move.

In the meantime, Hofelich received her master’s in business administration from the University of Maryland in 2001.

Maine Attraction. Senate Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Susan Collins (R-Maine) has made some additions to her staff as well.

Jen Burita recently joined the Collins team as communications director. The 36-year-old Albuquerque, N.M., native worked in the same capacity for Rep. John Peterson (R-Pa.). She also served as press secretary for then-Rep. Bill Redmond (R-Kan.) and interned for then-Rep. Joe Skeen (R-N.M.).

Burita received a master’s in public administration from George Mason University in 1997. She graduated from New Mexico State University in 1990 with a degree in journalism.

Elissa Canlas was recently hired as deputy press secretary. Originally hailing from Maplewood, N.J., Canlas comes to Washington from Portland, Ore., where she worked as an anchor and a reporter at the ABC affiliate WMTW.

Canlas, 30, graduated from Rutgers University in 1995 with a degree in journalism.

Cassidy’s Catch. Cassidy & Associates, a top Washington lobbying firm, recently welcomed Jared Craighead as an associate. He will focus on telecommunications and regulatory affairs.

The Jefferson City, Mo., native leaves his position as director of regulatory compliance at SBC Telecommunications Inc. He has also served as special assistant to then-Chief Deputy Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).

At 26, Craighead currently attends George Mason University School of Law. He received his master’s in business administration from American University in 2000 and a bachelor’s of business administration from Baylor University in 1998.

Texas Two-Step. Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) recently hired two new staffers and bid one farewell.

Aron Griffin will take the reins as Johnson’s legislative director after serving as his health policy adviser for the past two years. The 26-year-old formerly handled health policy for then-Rep. Bill Archer (R-Texas).

In 1998, the Naperville, Ill., native received a degree in government from the University of Maryland.

Griffin will replace Rebekah Hamilton, who was a Johnson aide for almost six years. Hamilton has accepted a district director position with Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas).

Ryann Fritz, a Plano, Texas, native, will join the ranks as a staff assistant. Fritz, 23, graduated from Southern Methodist University this spring with a degree in art history.

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