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Star Power

On Monday, the same day Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) was sworn in as governor of California, the Republican Main Street Partnership announced that the governator had joined its board. Rep. Mary Bono (R-Calif.) also joined the organization, which is dedicated to electing centrist Republicans.

Main Street’s roster of elected officials now includes five governors, nine Senators and 53 House Members.

“Gov. Schwarzenegger and Rep. Bono’s membership will further promote centrist Republican policies,” said RMSP Executive Director Sarah Chamberlain Resnick. “It is also indicative that the role of the centrist wing of the GOP is on the rise, especially in California.”

Not everyone would agree …

Breaking Up That Ol’ Gang of Mine. Perhaps it’s a sign of the maturation of the Maryland Republican Party under new Gov. Bob Ehrlich, the state’s first GOP chief executive in 34 years. But the operatives who helped 1994 and 1998 Free State gubernatorial nominee Ellen Sauerbrey (R) in her two runs have divided in the hot 6th district GOP primary pitting Rep. Roscoe Bartlett against Frederick County States Attorney Scott Rolle.

Jim Dornan, who started as communications director for Sauerbrey’s 1998 campaign and wound up as campaign manager, is working as Bartlett’s campaign manager for the March 2004 primary. He served as campaign manager for Rep. George Nethercutt’s (R-Wash.) re-election in 2000.

Carol Hirschburg, a veteran Maryland Republican strategist who served key roles in both Sauerbrey campaigns, is advising Rolle. So, on a pro bono basis, is David Albert, a lobbyist who was Sauerbrey’s campaign manager for part of the 1998 cycle.

Dornan said he sees the split of the Sauerbrey team — and the race itself — as a by-product of Ehrlich’s 2002 victory.

“The party is growing [in Maryland],” he said. “You’ve now got a lot of Republicans who think they can win. The unfortunate thing is that one of them [Rolle] is trying to run against a proven incumbent.”

Retorted Hirschburg: “I think it’s going to be a good campaign. Scott’s a great candidate. I think he can pull this off.”

People in the know say that despite their allegiance to Sauerbrey in 1998, this is hardly the first time Dornan and Hirschburg have been on opposite sides of a spat.

Dean’s List. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s (D) burgeoning presidential campaign has signed up a few new staffers. Tamara Pogue, who joined the campaign in February and has been serving as interim field director, was named national field director. Most recently she was manager for then-Rep. John Baldacci’s (D) successful campaign for governor of Maine in 2002.

The campaign has also tapped Ace Smith to work on opposition research. Smith, a San Francisco-based operative, held a similar post with just-deposed California Gov. Gray Davis (D).

“I’m just helping them get their whole research department organized,” is how Smith described his new gig to the New York Post. “It’s really quite bureaucratic and boring.”

The Butler Did It. Dylan Glenn, a former top aide to Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) who is one of three Republicans seeking to succeed Rep. Mac Collins (R) in Georgia’s 8th district, has tapped Steve Butler to serve as his campaign manager.

In 2002, Butler was campaign manager to Kathy Cox (R) in her successful race to become Georgia’s school superintendent. The campaign was run out of Fayette County, one of the strongholds of the 18-county 8th district.

Collins is giving up the seat to seek the 2004 Republican nomination for Senate.

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