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Native Coloradan Moves Up

Rick Palacio is a fifth-generation Coloradan on his mother’s side, and his father was born to Sicilian and Mexican immigrants. He is one of 57 grandchildren on his father’s side. [IMGCAP(1)]

He also is the new deputy communications director and legislative assistant for Rep. John Salazar (D-Colo.). He began his political career in the Colorado Legislature serving as the assistant to state House Majority Leader Alice Madden. He also served as regional director of Victory 2006 for the Colorado Democratic Party.

Palacio has worked for Salazar since the beginning of the 110th Congress. He attended Regis University in Denver and says his ideal fall activity would be “sitting in front of a campfire in the Colorado Rockies.” He is 32 and has a 10-year-old dalmatian named Emalya.

A Cheerful Strategy. Denzel McGuire has a unique set of responsibilities as the new administrative assistant for Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.). She said she’s responsible for “political strategy and making the trains run on time,” and she also wants to spread “good cheer each and every tomorrow.” [IMGCAP(2)]

McGuire, 37, is from Roanoke, Va., and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia. She previously worked for the House Education and the Workforce Committee for then-Rep. William Goodling (R-Pa.). She also has worked for her hometown Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and in the constituent office of retiring Sen. John Warner (R-Va.).

Who would rule the world if McGuire had it her way? Pope John Paul II.

Movin’ Up in Chabot’s Office. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) has promoted two staffers, including Mike Smullen, who was previously Chabot’s legislative director and the deputy staff director for the House Small Business Committee’s minority staff. Smullen, 32, who grew up in Montclair, Va., and Cincinnati, is Chabot’s new chief of staff.

With a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1997, Smullen served in Chabot’s Cincinnati office and worked as his political director for his successful 2000 re-election campaign, before joining his Washington staff in 2001 as legislative assistant.

Kim Betz is Chabot’s new legislative director. She first joined Chabot’s staff as legal counsel in 2004 and served as counsel to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties when Chabot was chairman. Betz has undergraduate and law degrees from Indiana University.

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