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All in the Family

Mary Lou Palmer, the chief of staff and longtime political aide-de-camp to retiring Rep. Jack Quinn (R-N.Y.), will continue to work for the Quinn family, at least through this year’s election.

Palmer will be the campaign manager for prosecutor Jack Quinn III (R), the Congressman’s son, who is running for an open state Assembly seat, The Buffalo News reported.

The younger Quinn considered running for his father’s seat when the Congressman announced his retirement several weeks ago, but concluded that at age 26 he was simply too inexperienced to make the leap. Erie County Comptroller Nancy Naples is the near-certain Republican nominee in the very competitive Buffalo-area district. Several Democrats are fighting for their party’s Congressional nomination.

New Consultant in the Hardware Store. Businessman Sam Davis, one of several Democrats seeking to replace outgoing Rep. Frank Ballance (D) in North Carolina’s 1st district, has hired Fletcher Rowley Chao, a Nashville-based campaign-media firm. The firm has already produced Davis’ first spot, which emphasizes his career working in his family hardware store.

“Growing up in my dad’s hardware store, I learned how to fix a few things,” Davis begins in the ad. He concludes: “I can’t solve all our problems, but I’ll bring us together to fix a few things.”

In the meantime, one of Davis’ primary opponents, former state Supreme Court Justice G.K. Butterfield, has begun to put together his consultant team.

Diane Feldman of the D.C.-based Feldman Group will handle research and polling. Alexander Killens of Raleigh, N.C., will handle strategic communications and consulting. Allen Crow of Allen B. Crow and Associates in Atlanta will handle media and message.  

Team Wetterling. Democrat Patty Wetterling, the children’s safety advocate who recently launched a bid to upset two-term Rep. Mark Kennedy (R-Minn.), has assembled a campaign team chock-full of political veterans from the North Star State, the newsletter Politics in Minnesota reported.

Olin Moore, director of Congressional relations for Rep. Martin Sabo (D-Minn.), will be campaign manager. Laura Nevitt, most recently the Minnesota coordinator for the presidential bid of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, will be political director.

Allison Frailich, director of party affairs for the Minnesota DFL, will be the finance director. And John Schadl, a staff assistant for Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), will be the communications director. Schadl is a former TV and radio reporter in Duluth.

The Work of a Lifetime. American University’s Campaign Management Institute has presented two veteran political consultants with its lifetime achievement awards: Republican Robert Teeter, the president of the Coldwater Corp. and Joseph Cerrell, the chairman and CEO of Los Angeles-based Cerrell and Associates Inc.

Teeter, a pollster and strategic consultant who mostly serves corporate clients these days, worked for presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush.

Cerrell has advised such Democratic luminaries as presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson; vice presidents Hubert Humphrey and Al Gore; and Sens. Lloyd Bentsen (Texas) and John Glenn (Ohio).

Maryland, Their Maryland No. 1. The Maryland Republican Party has named GOP consultant Chris Cathcart interim executive director through the November election. Cathcart was already working for the party in an advisory role. Carmen Miller — who had worked most recently for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) — has signed on as finance director.

The Maryland GOP’s previous director, Eric Sutton, left recently to join MH Media in Washington. The previous finance director, Erin Casey, left in April to work for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Maryland, Their Maryland No. 2. Democratic fundraiser Angelique Cannon-Harris has signed on to work for Douglas Duncan (D), the Montgomery County executive who is expected to run for governor of Maryland in 2006, The Gazette newspaper reported last week. Her previous clients have included Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the pro-Democratic 527 group America Coming Together, and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D).

D.C. Democrats Diversify. Members of the D.C. Democratic State Committee voted last week to add eight new permanent seats to the committee.

Two additional members each will come from the Federation of Democratic Women, the Asian and Pacific Islanders caucus, the Hispanic/Latino Caucus and the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club.

Double Duty. Try this one on for size: In Westchester County, N.Y., the large and affluent suburb just north of New York City, Reginald LaFayette has emerged as the likely next chairman of the county Democratic Party. LaFayette, who is chairman of the Mount Vernon Democratic Committee, is also a commissioner of the county’s Elections Commission.

According to the Journal News of White Plains, N.Y., LaFayette would become Westchester’s first black Democratic chairman. But get this: Even though the elections commission administers elections in the county, LaFayette has no plans to step down from his government post. And no one appears to be crying foul.

Mining for Money. Gordon Hintz, a former aide to Sen. Herb Kohl (D) who is seeking a state Assembly seat in Wisconsin, is nowhere near as rich as his former boss, a retailing heir.

That explains why Hintz is coming to D.C. on June 16 to raise money at a K Street law firm. In a memo to potential contributors, Hintz lays out why D.C. political types should care about a state Assembly seat in Oshkosh.

For What It’s Wirth. Peter Wirth, a Santa Fe lawyer and nephew of former Colorado Sen. Timothy Wirth (D), won a three-way Democratic primary for an open seat in the New Mexico House of Representatives last week and is almost certain to win the general election in the fall.

If You’re in the Neighborhood … Although the proceedings have been scrambled somewhat by the death of former President Ronald Reagan, California’s Republican moderates are having their annual meeting at the Firestone Ranch in Santa Barbara County this weekend. Brooks Firestone, a former California GOP vice chairman and ex-Assemblyman, will play host to 400 party activists, donors and elected officials.

White House political adviser Karl Rove was supposed to be the headline attraction, but he canceled because of Reagan’s death. Still scheduled to speak are California Republican Chairman Duf Sundheim, the GOP leaders of the state Legislature, and Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.). And of course, there will be a tribute to Reagan on Saturday.