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It’s been a rough year for Jerry Hood.

One year ago, the Alaska Teamsters boss was a hero to Congressional Republicans and President Bush for his tireless efforts in pressuring Democrats to support oil drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The lifelong Democrat and Alaska native joined the GOP and was mentioned as a possible successor to Sen. Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska) in the Senate.

Now Hood is out of a job.

In a major election upset last week, Hood was defeated for re-election as the head of Teamsters Local 959 by Michael Kenny by a 1,107-to-965 tally.

Kenny, a construction surveyor, said he won in part because Hood had spent too much time out of the state and in Washington — and because he was too closely aligned with Murkowski, now the governor of Alaska.

Despite the loss, Hood’s days of lobbying in support of Alaskan oil drilling may not be over: He remains a co-

chairman of Arctic Power, which is leading the charge on the issue, and a special assistant to Teamsters President James Hoffa.

Automakers Inch Forward. According to sources in the auto industry, the Association of Automobile Manufacturers is close to naming a new chairman of the trade group.

Joe Kennebeck, a Volkswagen official who is helping to run the search, declined to comment. But other officials said the automakers have narrowed their list of candidates to a handful and hope to have a finalist by the end of the year.

The automakers’ search for a high-octane new president stalled this summer when Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson told the association that he was interested in the post, but would not leave the Bush administration until after the 2004 elections.

Patton Boggs Powers Up. Patton Boggs has tapped the resources of law firms in Boston and London to strengthen its energy practice group.

Patton Boggs’ two new partners include Debbie Swanstrom, formerly a partner with Boston’s Sullivan & Worcester and Amy Koch, formerly with London’s Cameron McKenna LLP.

New associates have been brought in as well: Judith Andrade and Jennifer Schwitzer of Cameron McKenna and Adam Moniz and Jennifer Tribulski of Sullivan & Worcester.

Greenberg Traurig Snags Walsh. Dan Walsh has been brought on at Greenberg Traurig along with some of his clients — including Viacom, Covad Communications and the Interactive Gaming Council.

Walsh comes to the firm from Williams Mullen, where he represented various other entertainment, telecommunications and media clients. Walsh served as legislative director to Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-Md.), represented the moderate GOP Tuesday Group at Republican leadership meetings and worked for then-Rep. Jack Buechner (R-Mo.) as a legislative assistant.

Grocers Tap Airlines, Campaign Vet. The Grocery Manufacturers of America has added Richard Martin as its new vice president for communications.

Martin, who comes to GMA from an online organization for parents and children he co-founded, worked in the media relations shop of United Airlines and served as a deputy press secretary on the campaigns of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and former President Bill Clinton.

Miners Add New Execs. The Industrial Minerals Association-North America has named Rick Shearer as its executive vice president, having been most recently president and chief operating officer of U.S. Silica Co. The organization also brought on Darrell Smith as its new vice president of government and environmental affairs.

Smith, who was most recently director of the American Chemistry Council’s environmental public health team, is certified by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene in the comprehensive practice of industrial hygiene.

NBTA’s New Champ. The National Business Travel Association has hired a former legislative correspondent to Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.), Ben Champa, to be the organization’s new government relations specialist. Champa also served as a staff assistant to the late Sen. Paul Coverdell (R-Ga.).

NCBA Elevates Kenney, Hires Jaeger. The National Cooperative Business Association has tapped public relations vet Art Jaeger to be its director of communications and marketing after four years of focusing on food issues at the Consumer Federation of America.

Jaeger fills the spot formerly held by Jeannine Kenney, who has been named vice president for public affairs and member services. Kenney once worked for the National Milk Producers Federation and for Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) as a legislative assistant.

Top Bonior Aide Becomes COO at Common Cause. Sarah Dufendach, who was chief of staff for then-House Minority Whip David Bonior (D-Mich.), has joined Common Cause as chief operating officer at the government watchdog organization.

After Bonior left Congress last year after an unsuccessful bid in the Michigan Democratic gubernatorial primary, Dufendach joined the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation as the organization’s chief operating officer.

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