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Poe Running Ryun

Jonathan Poe, who this year signed on as a partner with the GOP firm Anthem Media after two cycles as the deputy political director at the National Republican Congressional Committee, has picked up former Rep. Jim Ryun (R-Kan.) as a client.

Ryun — a world champion runner and Olympic medalist in his younger days who lost his 2nd district seat in November to now-Rep. Nancy Boyda (D) — is trying to get his old job back. [IMGCAP(1)]

Poe, handling media and general consulting for Ryun, likely will have to guide him through a primary matchup with Kansas Treasurer Lynn Jenkins (R) before turning his attention completely to Boyda — if he can get the former Member that far.

Jenkins recently opened an exploratory committee and is expected to launch a full-fledged campaign following the close of Kansas’ legislative session.

Anthem, based in Austin, Texas, has an office in Nashville, Tenn., and recently opened an office in Washington, D.C., where Poe is based.

In From the Desert. Steve Rabin recently signed on as deputy executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, where he is serving as its chief spokesman and directing its communications and research operations.

The NJDC functions as a liaison between the Democratic Party and the Jewish community, helping candidates and organizations understand the Jewish vote while advocating for Jewish values within the party.

Prior to signing on with the NJDC, Rabin spent a year in Arizona working on businessman Jim Pederson’s (D) unsuccessful challenge to Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.). Rabin was Pederson’s policy director and also served as the campaign’s head of opposition research.

Before heading to the desert to work for Pederson, Rabin was Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-N.Y.) Congressional press secretary.

My Name Bob. Bob Blumenfield, the district director for Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), is running for a seat in the California Assembly in 2008.

Blumenfield already has scored the endorsement of his boss, as well as the backing of state Treasurer Bill Lockyer (D) and state Controller John Chiang (D). Blumenfield has served in his present position since 2000.

Prior to being hired as Berman’s district director, Blumenfield served on Capitol Hill in the office of former Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.) from 1989 to 1991 before moving on to Berman’s D.C. office from 1991 to 1996.

Blumenfield enjoyed a four-year sojourn away from government service from 1996 to 2000.

Blumenfield is running in a Democrat-leaning Assembly seat that opened up because of term limits, and a victory in next year’s June primary should assure him an easy general election contest and a new job in Sacramento, Calif.

The suburban Los Angeles seat he would represent includes approximately 420,000 constituents.

She Lost the Race, but Won the Derby. Jill Derby (D), who lost a close race to now-Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), has been elected chairwoman of the Nevada Democratic Party.

Derby won the race for state party chairwoman easily, with her term in the position set to end upon the conclusion of the 2008 cycle. She replaces Tom Collins, who chose not to seek re-election to the post.

“I look forward to working with Democrats around the state to encourage strong, independent leadership and continue to build our party,” Derby said in a statement.

Also, the NDP recently hired Travis Brock as its new executive director, in part because his experience with the Iowa presidential nominating caucuses will come in handy next year, when Nevada Democrats hold their first-ever caucus on Jan. 19.

Brock ran the Iowa Democratic Party’s coordinated campaign last year, and most recently served as national field director for former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack’s (D) aborted presidential campaign.

Brock also has served as a regional political director for the Democratic National Committee.

The Flag Is Up. The Maryland Democratic Party has hired Sue Levitan as its new finance director.

Levitan most recently directed field operations for the party’s coordinated campaign. She has a history of activism, including stints as the comptroller and administrator of Progressive Maryland and the legislative director for the Maryland and D.C. AFL-CIO.

“With all her experience, the remarkable thing about Sue is her energy. She knows everyone, she knows fundraising and she understands politics,” Maryland Democratic Party Chairman Terry Lierman said in a statement.

A Weiser Choice. Jenny Hill Weiser has been hired as the executive director of the Indiana Democratic Party. Previously, she served as the party’s finance director.

Weiser replaces Mike Edmondson, who resigned to become the finance director for gubernatorial candidate Jim Schellinger (D).

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