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Shop Talk: Special Election Showdown

The Sept. 13 special election for Nevada’s 2nd district remains a curious case of vague state law, court rulings and candidates.

But both parties now have nominees, and Republican Mark Amodei and Democrat Kate Marshall have their campaign teams in place.

For Marshall, the general consultant is Ken Morley of Hilltop Public Solutions, the pollster is Jill Normington of Normington, Petts & Associates, the media consultant is Raghu Devaguptapu of Adelstein Liston and the direct-mail consultant is Liz Chadderdon of Chadderdon Group. Brian Zuzenak is managing the campaign.

For Amodei, Jay Parmer is campaign manager, Chris Henick is a senior consultant, Rob Stutzman is handling paid media and messaging, and John McLaughlin is the pollster. A direct-mail firm has not yet been hired.

Sunshine on Horizon for BSG

Benenson Strategy Group, a Democratic strategic consulting and polling firm that serves as the lead pollster for President Barack Obama’s campaign, announced it is opening an office in Los Angeles by the end of the year.

The new office will be led by Vice President Amy Levin, who conducts polling for Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and several interest groups.

In the 2008 cycle, Levin served as Obama adviser David Axelrod’s chief of staff at AKPD Message and Media before joining media firm GMMB, where she wrote and produced ads for campaigns, including Obama’s. She also served at GMMB as the creative director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Along with Obama for America, BSG polls for five Democratic Senators, Tim Kaine’s Virginia Senate campaign and the three national Democratic campaign committees.

In With the New at AAPC

The American Association of Political Consultants is undergoing a leadership change.

Whit Ayres and Ed Goeas, the pollsters for Republican presidential candidates Jon Huntsman and Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), respectively, are stepping down as president and treasurer. They’ll be replaced, respectively, by Dale Emmons and Brad Chism, while Art Hackney takes over as vice president.

Angela McMillen is stepping down as executive director after three years, and she’s taking the summer off to travel and visit family. Replacing her is Alana Joyce, who, according to an email from McMillen, is busy planning next year’s Pollie Awards in Austin, Texas.

It’s Not Rude to Be Curt

Revolution Agency, a Washington, D.C.-based issue advocacy and public affairs advertising firm, recently named Curt Cashour as managing director.

Cashour will be charged with directing the agency’s digital and direct-mail practices while overseeing the development and implementation of integrated marketing, advertising and advocacy efforts on behalf of the firm’s corporate and political clients.

Cashour previously served as Revolution’s vice president, producing media and communications strategy for clients and interests including battlefield generals, industry groups and candidates for House and Senate. His ads have earned him multiple Pollie, Telly and Reed awards.

Before joining Revolution, Cashour served with the Army as speechwriter for the commanding general of Multi-National Corps — Iraq.

Quinnipiac Goes Mid-Atlantic

Quinnipiac University Polling Institute added Virginia to the stable of states it regularly polls.

The institute, which polls 50 weeks a year and now uses non-student live callers, released its first polls in the Old Dominion last week, with data on the presidential, gubernatorial and upcoming Senate race.

Quinnipiac began polling in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey before branching out to Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida. It also polls nationally and in New York City, and it includes cellphone-only respondents in its polling.

“We gradually expanded outside of metro New York with an emphasis on swing states, and Virginia is the next logical step,” Quinnipiac Assistant Polling Director Peter Brown told Roll Call. “It has become a battleground state on the presidential level and, as evidenced by the Senate poll, statewide races are very close there.”

Two to Tango With Huntsman

Republican Jon Huntsman’s presidential campaign named Neil Ashdown as deputy campaign manager and Conyers Davis as director of operations.

Ashdown was Huntsman’s chief of staff during his time as ambassador to China and governor of Utah, and a press release stated Ashdown has been a “trusted” adviser since Huntsman’s 2004 gubernatorial campaign.

Davis, who previously served as deputy director of advance under then-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and as California’s assistant secretary for international trade, most recently was head of operations and deputy director for campaigning for the U.K. Conservative Party’s national campaign.

Super PAC-ing  in Early States

Robert Jentgens, a deputy finance director for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in 2007, has launched super political action committees in three early presidential nomination states, the Center for Responsive Politics reported.

A former accounting director at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Jentgens launched RDJ Consulting two years ago, according to his online résumé.

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