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Former McConnell Aide Working for Crist

Florida Republican Gov. Charlie Crist has hired Amanda Henneberg, a former television consultant for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., as the new press secretary for his Senate bid, the campaign announced Monday.

Henneberg, who left McConnell’s office in August, worked on Arizona Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008, where she worked with Crist’s new communications director, Andrea Saul. Prior to that, Henneberg worked as an executive assistant to the communications director at the Republican National Committee during the 2006 campaign cycle.

A McConnell aide called Henneberg “supremely qualified and very intelligent.”

A spokesman for former Florida Speaker Marco Rubio, who is challenging Crist for the GOP nomination, warned that the Henneberg hire is an indication that Crist’s campaign is gearing up for an ugly fight this year. Republican leaders and the National Republican Senatorial Committee are backing Crist in the primary, but Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., and grass-roots conservatives are supporting Rubio.

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