Shop Talk: Firm Changes Name; GOP Candidates Staff Up

Posted March 30, 2011 at 5:27pm

Wilson Research Strategies is changing its name with the elevation of Chris Perkins and Bryon Allen to name partners. The Republican polling firm will now be known as Wilson Perkins Allen Research.

“Chris Perkins was a cornerstone of our growth and success last cycle, and Bryon Allen has been pillar of our development of cutting-edge research methodologies,” said Chris Wilson, who founded the firm in 1998. “I am happy to have them as partners.”

Along with its work with nonprofit organizations and universities, the firm worked on dozens of winning campaigns in 2010, including one freshman Senator and 10 freshman Representatives. Its client list includes Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Reps. Allen West (R-Fla.), Joe Heck (R-Nev.) and Mike Pence (R-Ind.).

Romney PAC Beefs Up on Policy

Lanhee Chen has joined former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s Free and Strong America Political Action Committee as policy director, the PAC announced Monday.

Chen served as chief domestic policy adviser during Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign and in 2010 was deputy campaign manager on California Republican Steve Poizner’s gubernatorial campaign.

Chen previously served in President George W. Bush’s administration as a senior policy and political aide at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Pawlenty Unveils Finance Team

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty unveiled his national finance team on a call with major supporters Monday. Brian Haley, a veteran of the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), was named national finance director, and Katie McBreen, who worked for the 2008 presidential campaign of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), was named deputy national finance director.

Heading up national outreach as a senior finance consultant is Ann Herberger, a top Florida fundraiser who previously worked for President George W. Bush, Romney and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), among other clients. Another senior finance consultant, focusing on the mid-Atlantic region, is Paige Lance Hahn, who managed the 2009 campaign fundraising operation of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R). Other senior finance consultants include Paige Marriott, Cassandra Vandenberg, Alison McIntosh and Pam Kinsey.

The rest of the team includes Trisha Hamm, Chrissy Scherer, Andrea Evans, Rick Nelson, Gretchen Picotte, the Starboard Group, Shanna Woodbury and Sue Walden.

Convention Firms Ramp Up

While Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus revamps his 2012 convention team, strategy firms are beginning to plan for the onslaught of policy briefings, events and media related to the convention.

GOP Convention Strategies, which provides convention-related services and event planning for companies, trade associations and delegations, is led by Scott Cottington and Darrell Henry, and the firm has taken steps recently to ramp up its Tampa, Fla., operation.

For next year’s Republican National Convention, the firm has joined forces with D’Anne Mica of Mica Strategic Communications and the Victory Group, a consulting firm led by Adam Goodman and Renee Dabbs.

“Our team has already been on the ground, mapped out the town, secured prime venues and hotels,” Henry said in a press release.

Tennessee GOP’s New Leader

The Tennessee Republican Party announced Wednesday that Political Director Adam Nickas will step up to executive director in the 2012 cycle.

Nickas took over as political director in May 2010, managing the statewide field staff, coordinating direct mail and managing strategy for several state legislative races. In his new role, Nickas will handle the state party’s political operations and oversee communications.

“Republicans made historic gains in Tennessee last year, and Adam’s strategic work as political director was a large part of the success we had at the state party,” state party Chairman Chris Devaney said. “Adam’s prior experience at the party will bring continuity to his new role, which is a big plus going into this next crucial election year of 2012.”

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