Skip to content

Taking the Highwood

Republican fundraising consultant Jim McCray has formed Highwood Capital LLC, billed as a full-service consulting company.

[IMGCAP(1)]The Washington, D.C., company has formed strategic partnerships with the MK Group LLC and several undisclosed firms. It plans to offer its clients advice on strategic planning, business development, national fundraising, public affairs, corporate and political communications, and government relations.

The Best Campaign Around, Barletta None. Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta (R), hoping to upend Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D) in Pennsylvania’s 11th district, began filling out his team this week.

Vince Galko was hired as campaign manager, Kristin Nash is serving as finance director and Shawn Kelly has come aboard as communications coordinator.

Galko is a former aide to both Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and ex-Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.). Nash previously worked for Tom Ridge (R), including while Ridge was Pennsylvania governor and when he served as President Bush’s first Homeland Security secretary.

Kelly was the media coordinator for Barletta when he lost his bid to oust Kanjorski in 2002. Most recently she worked as an assistant city editor for the Standard-Speaker newspaper in Hazleton.

Pecking Order. Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer this week appointed Russell Peck director of Congressional affairs.

In this newly created position, Peck will lead the state GOP’s effort to re-elect Florida’s Congressional Republicans as well as aid Republican challenger candidates in their House races.

Peck previously served as the Southwest Florida field director for Bush-Cheney ’04 and as the Florida director of voter registration and statewide field director for the state GOP and the Republican National Committee during the 2006 election cycle.

Peck later served as the political director for then-Rep. Clay Shaw’s (R-Fla.) re-election campaign and also was the Florida organizational director for Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign.

Powers-ing Up. Iraq War veteran Jon Powers has hired an army of consultants as he battles to oust Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.) in November.

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner is handling the polling, and Dixon/Davis is the media

consultant. Sutter’s Mill is helping on fundraising, and VShift, a New York-based firm, is doing Web work.

Powers’ campaign manager John Gerken held a similar post in 2006 for factory owner Jack Davis, the Democratic nominee against Reynolds in the previous cycle and in 2004.

Davis is making noises about running for Congress again. According to, a political Web site in Western New York, Davis is beginning to hire campaign staffers.

Don’t Treadwell on Me. Former New York Secretary of State Sandy Treadwell, the Republican frontrunner in the race to take on freshman Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), has hired Cathy Blaney and Associates to do his fundraising.

Blaney was a former top fundraiser for former Sen. Al D’Amato (R-N.Y.) and for ex-New York Gov. George Pataki (R) — a political patron of Treadwell’s who already has hosted a fundraiser for him.

Republican National McCommittee. The Republican National Committee has beefed up in the wake of McCain securing the GOP presidential nomination, adding former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, ex-Goldman Sachs managing partner Lew Eisenberg and Republican operatives Frank Donatelli and Michael DuHaime.

Fiorina and Eisenberg will serve as Victory chairman and Victory finance chairman, respectively, and their chief responsibilities will be to promote McCain’s presidential bid.

Fiorina has previously supported President Bush and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). Eisenberg served on the transition teams of two former Republican governors, including Pataki and ex-New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman.

Donatelli assumes the role of RNC deputy chairman. Donatelli served under President Ronald Reagan as assistant to the president for political and intergovernmental affairs, as well as deputy assistant to the president for public liaison.

DuHaime joins the RNC as senior adviser for political operations. DuHaime returns to the committee after managing former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s (R) presidential campaign.

Ed’s List. Democratic operative Ed Espinoza, who is based in Washington, D.C., has refined his e-mail list of job openings and opportunities for political professionals.

The e-mail list, first started in 2002, can now be found at Yahoo Groups. Those wishing to sign up for the list can do so via

Submit campaign staffing news and tips to Shop Talk

Recent Stories

Spared angry protests at Morehouse, Biden pushes post-war Gaza plan

Capitol Lens | Duck dodgers

Election year politics roil the EV transition

Thompson’s animal welfare, whole milk priorities in farm bill

Schumer plans vote on border security bill that GOP blocked

Republicans look to reverse rule based on gun law they backed