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Mark Gordon (R), a businessman and rancher running for Wyoming’s lone House seat, has begun filling out his campaign team.

[IMGCAP(1)]Bill Novotny, former aide to Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), is serving as campaign director, while Bob Wickers, of the Republican firm Dresner, Wickers and Associates, will serve as general consultant.

Dresner Wickers has offices in San Francisco and Mt. Kisco, N.Y. In the past, the firm has advised erstwhile presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) and Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), among others.

Darcie Johnston, whose clients have included former presidential candidate and ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), is serving as Gordon’s finance director.

JoAnn Pearson, a GOP activist from Gordon’s hometown of Buffalo, is the campaign’s treasurer.

The Stars at Night — Are Big and Bright. Texas state Rep. Rick Noriega (D), hoping to upset Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-Texas) re-election plans this November, has hired a campaign team.

Mark Bell, the longtime campaign

manager and special assistant to former Texas House Speaker Pete Laney (D), was named campaign manager.

Noriega’s pollster is Celinda Lake, of the Democratic, Washington, D.C., firm Lake Research Partners; his media advisers are Dawn Laguens and Dan Kully of the D.C. firm Laguens Kully Klose Partners. Kully Klose produced the media for three winning 2006 Democratic Senate campaigns, including those of Sens. Jon Tester (Mont.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) and Benjamin Cardin (Md.).

Directing Noriega’s online effort is the Internet consulting firm Blackrock Associates, a Democratic firm based in Berkeley, Calif., that last cycle advised now-Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-Va.) campaign. Jennifer Treat, formerly the finance director for the late Texas Gov. Ann Richards (D), has joined the campaign as senior adviser for fundraising.

Communications Are His Forti. Carl Forti, most recently the political director and deputy campaign manager for Romney’s presidential campaign, has been hired as executive vice president of Freedom’s Watch, a conservative 501(c)(4) that plans to be active in the upcoming Congressional elections.

Forti, formerly the communications director at the National Republican Congressional Committee, will be charged with leading his new employer’s issue advocacy campaign. This is something Forti has experience with, as one of his duties at the NRCC was directing the committee’s independent expenditure ad campaign.

In joining Freedom’s Watch, Forti will once again be working with Ed Patru, who joined the group earlier this year as vice president of communications — essentially as the organization’s communications director. In the previous cycle, Patru worked for Forti at the NRCC, where he served as deputy communications director.

Prior to joining Freedom’s Watch, Patru served as communications director for the House Republican Conference under Chairman Adam Putnam (Fla.).

Pompei Erupts in Nebraska. Sarah Pompei has been hired as communications director for ex-Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns (R), who is running for Senate this year in Nebraska.

The Johanns campaign is headquartered in Lincoln, where Johanns served as mayor before being elected governor.

Pompei comes to Lincoln from Boston, where she served as deputy press secretary for regional media for Romney’s presidential campaign. In that capacity, she reported directly to national press secretary Kevin Madden, a former top aide to then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas).

Last cycle, Pompei was based in Billings, Mont., where she served as press secretary for then-Sen. Conrad Burns (R) in his losing bid for re-election to Tester.

Prior to that, Pompei served as deputy communications director at the California Republican Party, where she reported directly to Karen Hanretty, who recently took over as communications director at the NRCC.

No Cohen of Silence. Yoni Cohen has joined the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as a regional press secretary, covering western states.

Cohen previously served as press secretary for Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.). He also served as communications director for now-Rep. Jerry McNerney’s (D-Calif.) winning 2006 campaign.

Give ’Em Heller. Elizabeth Heller Allen has been hired as communications director by attorney Sharen Neuhardt (D), who is running for the 7th district seat being vacated by Rep. David Hobson (R-Ohio).

Heller Allen comes to the Neuhardt campaign from Premier Health Partners in Dayton, Ohio, where she worked as the firm’s vice president of marketing and communications.

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