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Shop Talk: What Happens in Vegas

Ruben Kihuen, a Nevada state Senator running in a competitive Democratic primary for Congress, has hired a campaign team that includes at least three connections to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

The consulting team includes the Ramirez Group for general consulting, GMMB for media, Mack Crounse Group for direct mail, the Mellman Group for research and polling, and Nueva Vista Media as specialty media consultants, which the campaign said has experience communicating with Latino voters.

Dan Chavez, a former Clinton appointee who most recently managed the losing campaign of Debra Bowen in the California 36th district special election, has signed on to manage Kihuen’s campaign. Megan Jones, most recently political director for Reid’s re-election campaign, will serve as finance director and senior adviser.

Kihuen is up against former Rep. Dina Titus (D) for the Las Vegas-based 1st district, which Rep. Shelley Berkley (D) is vacating to run for Senate. The redrawn district has a 37 percent Latino voting age population.

“I understand the importance of this campaign, and the necessity to have a competent team of advisors to lead our campaign to victory. I am truly proud of the team we have assembled, and grateful that they have chosen to join me in this endeavor,” Kihuen said in a statement.

Titus previously announced her team, which includes, among others, John Anzalone for polling and Kully Hall for media consulting.

Seven Weeks to Iowa

With the Iowa caucuses for the presidential race just seven weeks from today, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) announced she has added two full-time staff members and a college liaison to her Iowa team.

Megan McGreal Ferraro was hired as advance director and Craig Handzlik was brought on as lead advance. Alex Latcham will work as a college outreach leader.

“Megan, Craig and Alex will play critical roles in taking her message across the state as our team pushes forward to win the all important first-in-the-nation caucuses on Jan. 3,” said Eric Woolson, Bachmann’s Iowa campaign manager.

McGreal Ferraro, a campaign veteran who worked for the GOP’s last two presidential nominees, will manage the planning, scheduling and execution of all campaign events and event staff, according to a release. Handzlik, who served as a member of Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) presidential campaign advance team, will manage the logistics and execution of Iowa events.

Latcham, a sophomore at Drake University in Des Moines, will lead outreach to the state’s college Republican organizations and students.

Tea if by Air

The Tea Party Express announced the launch of a new weekly conservative radio show to focus on tea party issues.

The Tea Party Express Hour, airing in San Diego and streaming online, will be hosted by former California Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian.

“Featuring updates from Washington insiders, tea party activists around the country and guest callers, the show is certain to contain important insight regarding the crucial economic issues facing America today,” the group stated in an email. “We look forward to bringing the fight to the Obama agenda on the radio.”

Resolute Is Atlanta-Bound

Resolute Consulting, a public affairs and strategic communications firm, is opening an Atlanta office and hiring communications strategist Dar Vanderbeck as vice president.

The firm, which already has offices in Washington, D.C., and in the Midwest, announced in a news release that Vanderbeck will manage the new office and focus on the firm’s international development practice. Vanderbeck is a veteran of President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, serving as a field organizer in Florida. She most recently served as confidential assistant to the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Just In Time for the Holidays

Republican consultant Chris DeRose’s book, “Founding Rivals: Madison vs. Monroe, the Bill of Rights, and the Election That Saved a Nation,” was published Monday.

According to an description, the book looks into the only Congressional race ever to feature two future presidents, Virginians James Madison and James Monroe, and what effect the contest had on the Constitution.

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