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Hat in the Ring

A former aide to Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) and former Rep. Jay Johnson (D-Wis.) launched his own political career this week.

Gordon Hintz (D), 30, announced his candidacy for a state Assembly seat in the Oshkosh area. He will take on veteran state Rep. Gregg Underheim (R), who has never had a serious challenge despite representing a swing district.

“I believe I have the qualifications, energy, commitment and vision for a vital Oshkosh and Wisconsin in the 21st century,” Hintz said.

In addition to his work for Kohl and Johnson on Capitol Hill, Hintz has a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Wisconsin and spent the past few years working in the budget bureau for the city of Long Beach, Calif.

His father, Stephen Hintz, just finished a stint as mayor of Oshkosh.

Hanging a Shingle. Marko Mlikotin, a veteran campaign and government operative in Washington, D.C., and California, announced this week that he has formed River City Communications, a Folsom, Calif.-based public affairs and government relations firm that will serve clients in Sacramento and Washington.

Mlikotin hopes to set up and manage independent expenditure campaigns and fundraising programs, offer direct-mail programs, products and services, and organize trade association trips to D.C. and Sacramento, among many other services.

Mlikotin served as deputy appointments secretary under former California Gov. Pete Wilson (R) and was deputy political director of Wilson’s 1994 re-election campaign. He later worked as executive director of Wilson’s public advocacy organization Citizens for California’s Future.

In 1998, Mlikotin was manager of Rep. Doug Ose’s (R-Calif.) first campaign, and then moved to Washington with Ose to become his chief of staff. In 2003, Mlikotin served as campaign director for Ose’s short-lived Senate Exploratory Committee, then stayed in California to work for now-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign during the recall election. He then served in the governor-elect’s transition office and then was manager for Mary Ose’s (R) unsuccessful bid to replace her brother in Congress.

All in the Family. Speaking of the Golden State, the Los Angeles Times reported this week that Andrea Jones, press secretary to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), is leaving Capitol Hill to return to California to work for a candidate close to her heart: her father. Former California Secretary of State Bill Jones is the GOP nominee for Senate.

Andrea Jones worked for McCain as a youth coordinator during his 2000 presidential campaign (her dad was also a key supporter of the Senator’s). She then became campaign manager for then-Rep. Tom Campbell (R) in his unsuccessful attempt to oust Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) in 2000.

Bill Jones is trying to unseat Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) this year.

Two Additions. Stevens Reed Curcio & Potholm, a leading Republican advertising firm based in Alexandria, Va., has hired two new staffers.

Duke Greenhill will become a production manager for the firm. He was a producer for CBS News in Austin, Texas, a documentary filmmaker, and a former contributor to The New York Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The American Spectator and Filmmaker magazine.

Eric Crabtree is joining the firm as a media and operations assistant. Crabtree is a recent graduate of Colby College in Waterville, Maine.

Whitewash in Ohio. Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Dennis White was elected to a second term this week. In fact, his entire leadership team was retained.

White, who spent 10 years as the Franklin County Democratic chairman, has also served as a Madison Township trustee and operates a family-owned logistics business.

Rounding out the state Democratic leadership team: Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin as vice chairman, Spark County Commissioner Gayle Jackson as treasurer and Parma Mayor Dean De Piero as secretary.

Band of Brothers. GradPAC, a nonpartisan political action committee comprising graduates of the country’s five service academies and designed to help federal candidates who are also service academy grads, has appointed Andrew Payson Shelter as its new Web site director.

Shelter, a 1982 graduate of the Naval Academy, owns a graphics, Internet and computer support company in the Philadelphia area. His clients include political candidates and organizations. Shelter spent several years in the Navy and was recalled to active duty during the Persian Gulf war and in the run-up to the war in Iraq.

According to its latest filings with the Federal Election Commission, GradPAC so far this year has helped businessman Geoff Davis, a Republican running for the seat for retiring Rep. Ken Lucas (D-Ky.).

Eyeing the Youth Vote. Former Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys (R), one of three candidates seeking the Republican nomination in the open-seat Oklahoma Senate race, plans to rely heavily on the youth vote.

The Humphreys campaign has announced that it has installed student campaign coordinators at 15 Sooner State campuses.

“Our campaign is working aggressively to build a strong statewide political organization, and the active involvement of young voters and college students is a major component to this effort,” said Josh Kivett, Humphreys’ campaign manager.

Humphreys is facing former Rep. Tom Coburn and state Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony in the July 27 primary, with an Aug. 24 runoff scheduled if no one receives 50 percent of the vote. The winner will take on Rep. Brad Carson (D) for the right to replace retiring four-term Sen. Don Nickles (R) in the 109th Congress.

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