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Sticking Together

Brad Mascho and his wife, Jennifer, figured they ought to do something with the three political science degrees they had accumulated between the two of them.

[IMGCAP(1)]So they came to Washington, D.C., from Ohio, printed out a “couple hundred résumés” and walked around Capitol Hill for about a month until they each found jobs on the second floor of the Longworth House Office Building.

Jennifer Mascho found a job with Rep. Timothy Johnson (R-Ill.) and Brad Mascho went to work for the late Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-Ohio), just down the hall from each other.

Upon Gillmor’s death earlier this fall, Brad Mascho transferred to Rep. Michael Turner’s (R-Ohio) office, stepping into the position of communications director.

“I’m still down the hall from her,” he said of his wife.

He originally is from Holland, Ohio, just outside of Toledo. He has both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in political science from Miami University.

When he’s not on the job, he likes to work on the town house he bought with Jennifer. They have a cat, Toledo.

Mascho is happy where he is, but Ohio is on his mind.

“I think in the long run I’d love to get back to Ohio,” he said. “I’m an Ohioan at heart.”

New Communications Faces. Rep. Barbara Lee’s (D-Calif.) new communications director, Cleve Mesidor, started her career in CNN’s Washington bureau as a news assistant, covering the State Department, the Pentagon and other government entities. Mesidor also worked for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as a regional communications director.

Mesidor remains active in Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first historically black sorority. She is a mentor for a young woman from Southeast D.C. through a Southeast White House mentoring program. Mesidor does tutoring, social events and political activities with her mentee.

“Next week we’re going to Build-a-Bear,” she said with a laugh.

Mesidor, 34, has a master’s degree in communications from Howard University, which she earned in 2001, and a bachelor’s degree in business from the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising in New York City, her hometown. Her family is from Haiti.

She said she is very excited to be working for Lee.

[IMGCAP(2)]“I think she is dynamic and visionary,” Mesidor said of the Congresswoman. “In 2008, she is really going to be at the forefront of some key changes that need to happen.”

Sue Walitsky is now the national communications director for Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.). She will work alongside Susan Sullam, Cardin’s communication director, and focus on Cardin’s overall message, outreach activities and media relations.

Walitsky was director of public relations for the Frederick-based Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for almost three years. Before that, she served as the Arizona communications director for Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and for the Kerry/Edwards 2004 presidential campaign. She also ran the statewide media operation for Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell (D) and has experience at the Pentagon, the State Department and the Democratic National Committee.

“I am extremely pleased that Sue has a depth of communications experience and maturity on national issues,” Cardin wrote in an e-mail.

Walitsky holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The George Washington University. She earned her undergraduate degree in 1992 in international affairs with a concentration in communications and received her master’s in public administration in 1994.

Originally from Parsippany, N.J., she is a resident of Silver Spring. Walitsky said that outside the office, she tries to spend as much time as she can with her wife, Ramona. She also likes to golf and cook.

Walitsky, 37, had good things to say about her new boss.

“His reputation is one of being a true gentleman, and that is well-deserved,” she said. “It is really a pleasure to be working with this group of people and with the Senator.”

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