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Shop Talk: Texas Hold ’Em

An aide to Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Michael Williams (R) confirmed that GOP consultant Matt Mackowiak does not advise Williams’ Senate campaign, after the former Senate staffer made that claim last week.

[IMGCAP(1)]In announcing the launch of his new firm, Potomac Strategy Group, Mackowiak said he counted Williams as a client. Williams is running for the Senate seat that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) is expected to vacate to run for governor, and Mackowiak is a former press secretary for Hutchison.

But Williams campaign manager Corbin Casteel said Wednesday that Mackowiak is not working for the campaign. Mackowiak was a volunteer host for a young professionals event for Williams.

“He’s a friend, but he will not be working on this campaign,— Casteel said.

Mackowiak maintained that he was never paid by the campaign and added that he supports Williams’ candidacy.

“I certainly hope he’s our next U.S. Senator,— Mackowiak said.

Mackowiak said his client roster includes Assemblyman Greg Ball (R) in New York’s 19th district, businessman Tom Lucero (R) in Colorado’s 4th and a yet-to-be-announced GOP Congressional candidate in Texas.

Long-Term Contract. Democratic consultants Margie Omero and Julian Mulvey are tying the knot next month. Mulvey is a partner at the media firm Devine Mulvey, and Omero — an ex-Roll Call intern — is president of the polling firm Momentum Analysis.

Not surprisingly, this is not the couple’s first joint project. The Democratic duo first met working on then-Rep. Richard Gephardt’s (D-Mo.) re-election bid in 2000 and shared office space for several years afterward. Although the two do not often share clients, Omero and Mulvey also consulted now-Rep. Christopher Carney’s (D-Pa.) winning bid in 2006 — the same year that they started dating.

Omero and Mulvey will marry July 18 in Georgetown.

RNC’s Revolving Door. The Republican National Committee continues to staff up, including recently hiring two veterans from the Gopher State.

Minnesota native LeRoy Coleman is the new director of media affairs at the RNC. He comes from Capitol Hill, where he was communications director for a Republican with the same name — then-Sen. Norm Coleman (Minn.). (The two men are not related.)

Fellow Minnesotan Kirsten Kukowski is one of two new regional press secretaries at the RNC. Kukowski comes by way of Wisconsin, where she served as communications director for the state party and press secretary for former Rep. Mark Green (R-Wis.).

Sara Sendek has also joined the RNC communications shop as a regional press secretary. Originally from Michigan, Sendek worked for then-Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-Mich.) and more recently served as the director of rapid response at the White House under President George W. Bush.

RNC Chairman Michael Steele also announced that Manny Rosales has been hired as deputy director of coalitions. Rosales comes from the Caribbean Central American Action — a nongovernmental organization where he served as president and CEO.

Pike’s Picks. Former editorial page writer Doug Pike (D) has picked up two top aides for his campaign. Pike, the son of former Rep. Otis Pike (D-N.Y.), is running for the Democratic nomination in the district currently represented by Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.).

Pike tapped Andrew Eldredge-Martin to be his campaign manager. A Pennsylvania native, Eldredge-Martin guided Rep. Christopher Carney (D-Pa.) to victory over a Republican incumbent in 2006.

Amanda McKay will be his finance director. Although she most recently raised funds for nonprofit groups, McKay fundraised for now-Rep. Dan Maffei’s (D-N.Y.) 2006 victory as well.

Hoosier Your Spokesman? Trevor Foughty will be the new communications director for the Indiana Republican Party.

Foughty comes from the Indiana Department of Education, where he was the assistant communications director. He also managed Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett’s campaign in 2008.

Foughty also ran former Marion County Coroner John McGoff’s (R) 2008 primary bid against Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.).

Welcome to Miami. Former Florida state Speaker Marco Rubio (R) has picked up Alex Burgos as his communications director for his 2010 Senate campaign. Burgos has national credentials, a major plus for Rubio, who faces an uphill battle against Gov. Charlie Crist in the GOP primary.

Burgos worked for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R) presidential campaign, as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He was also a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee in the 2004 and 2006 cycles. His wife, Joanna Burgos, is a regional press secretary at the NRCC this cycle.

Alex Burgos reports that he was born and raised in Miami, which is where Rubio’s campaign is headquartered.

A Few Goodman. Missouri state Sen. Jack Goodman (R) has assembled his campaign team for his bid to succeed Rep. Roy Blunt (R). Blunt is leaving his southwestern Missouri district to run for Senate in 2010.

Miles Ross will serve as Goodman’s campaign manager. Ross was most recently the executive director of Friends of Roy Blunt, plus was Goodman’s campaign manager for his state Senate campaign in 2005.

David Barklage will serve as Goodman’s general consultant. Barklage advised Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (R) and freshman Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R) in 2008.

American Viewpoint Vice President Randall Gutermuth will be Goodman’s pollster, while John Thompson will advise communications and John B. Morgan will consult on politics and demographics.

The Winding Rivera. The California consulting firm Gilliard, Blanning, Wysocki & Associates has promoted Cristina Rivera to lead their new political action committee fundraising division.

Rivera comes from California Republican Party and worked on the effort to recall then-Gov. Gray Davis (D).

GBWA consults with several Congressional clients, and Rivera said she is handling district fundraising for businessman Jon Del Arroz in California’s 11th district.

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