Shop Talk: LaCivita Joins Akin in the Show-Me State

Posted July 11, 2011 at 6:37pm

Veteran GOP strategist Chris LaCivita has signed on as general consultant to Rep. Todd Akin’s Missouri Senate campaign.

LaCivita helped two Virginia Republican challengers defeat Democratic incumbents last cycle, when he also served as political director at the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Akin is challenging Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) in a race expected to be among the most competitive in the country.

As campaign manager, the Gulf War veteran helped former Virginia Gov. George Allen get elected to the Senate in 2000, and in 2004 he served as chief strategist for Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and co-produced the group’s ads.

LaCivita, a retired Marine Corps sergeant, served as general political consultant to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the 2004 and 2006 cycles.

Getting the Gang Back Together

Virginia Senate candidate Tim Kaine has brought back Mike Henry to manage his campaign once again.

Henry has a deep history in Virginia Democratic politics, including managing Kaine’s 2005 gubernatorial run, now-Sen. Mark Warner’s 2008 campaign and Terry McAuliffe’s unsuccessful 2009 gubernatorial bid. Henry ran the independent expenditure effort for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in 2006, and most recently he’s been serving as a senior director of the ONE Campaign.

“His expertise when it comes to Virginia is unmatched,” Kaine said in a statement. “I look forward to seeing the campaign benefit from Mike’s extraordinary leadership.”

Henry is one of several consultants who worked on Kaine’s gubernatorial bid and is coming back for his likely general election matchup with former Sen. George Allen (R). Pollster Pete Brodnitz, senior adviser Mo Elleithee and media consultants David Eichenbaum and Karl Struble are back to help Kaine in his next challenge.

Kaine also announced other campaign additions Thursday, including Eli Kaplan as new media consultant. Kaplan, of Rising Tide Interactive, held similar positions on the Warner and McAuliffe campaigns.

Riddle Me This

Democratic media consultant Mark Riddle was named executive director at New Leaders Council, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that offers high-level training in campaign management, fundraising and new-media tactics to young progressives in business, politics, law and other fields.

Riddle, formerly a partner at Nashville-based Fletcher Rowley, is a University of Kentucky graduate and got his start in politics on the 1996 Kentucky Senate race of now-Gov. Steve Beshear. Since then he’s been involved in numerous Kentucky campaigns and worked on Wesley Clark’s 2004 presidential bid.

“Mark is uniquely qualified to help take NLC to the next level because of his strengths as a manager, entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to helping the next generation of progressive leaders succeed,” NLC Chairman Mark Walsh said.

Galston Is a New Partner

Democratic consulting firm New Partners hired Marygrace Galston to work in its Seattle office, where she will offer clients strategic counsel, grass-roots services and campaign development.

Galston most recently served as senior political adviser and White House liaison for the Environmental Protection Agency. Galston worked on the Obama campaign in the 2008 cycle, first as deputy state director for Iowa, then as national director at Campaign for Change, helping the state parties and the Obama campaign set up field organizations in the battleground states.

Galston also has Washington state experience, including a stint as director of the state party’s coordinated campaign in 2006 and field director for Sen. Patty Murray (D) in 2004.

“We are thrilled that Marygrace has joined our team here at New Partners,” Managing Partner Paul Tewes said. “I’ve worked with Marygrace in more than a dozen states, including the 2008 Iowa caucuses, and her background and experience in running cutting-edge campaigns will allow us to enhance and expand the services we provide to our growing roster of clients.”

Illinois Primary Brews

Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi announced a strong consulting team for his campaign for Illinois’ newly drawn 8th district.

The former Illinois deputy treasurer hired Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research for polling, Adelstein Liston for media and strategic consulting, and Mission Control for direct mail.

The announcement came shortly after the campaign announced raising more than $400,000 in less than six weeks and just as former Congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth (D) announced she will be running in the new district as well.

Tong Picks Up Top Team

Connecticut Senate candidate William Tong recently announced raising more than $550,000 in the second quarter and signing a top-tier campaign team.

Tong, a state Representative, hired Marc Bradley as campaign manager; Jim Jordan, Miriam Hess and Jimmy Siegel as media consultants; Fred Yang of Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group for polling; and Kevin Mack of the Mack Crounse Group for direct mail.

Jordan managed Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) 2004 presidential campaign, is a former Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee executive director and is one of the leaders of the Majority Political Action Committee, a Democratic super PAC. Hess and Siegel worked on then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D) campaign for the White House.

“Yesterday, I announced a major league fundraising total. Today, I’m announcing a major league campaign team,” Tong said in a statement.

Tong faces Rep. Christopher Murphy and former Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz in the Democratic primary for retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (I) seat.

Joshua Miller contributed to this report.

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