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Shop Talk: NRCC Staffs Up

The National Republican Congressional Committee has hired two new regional press secretaries for the 2012 cycle.

Nathaniel Sillin, the new Northeast spokesman, and Daniel Scarpinato, the Western spokesman, officially joined the committee Monday. They replaced Tory Mazzola and Tyler Houlton, respectively, who left in recent months.

Sillin most recently served as communications director for Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.) and previously held the same position in the office of Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.).

Scarpinato is a plugged-in Arizonan and former journalist. He was the one-time editor of the University of Arizona student newspaper and was a reporter for Tucson’s Arizona Daily Star for five years. He most recently was communications director for the Arizona state House GOP caucus, serving under former state Speaker Kirk Adams, who is now running for Congress. He previously also was communications director for Jonathan Paton, who ran for Arizona’s 8th district last year.

D.C., NYC and Vegas

Gabby Adler Weiss is leaving Capitol Hill for the concrete pastures of New York to work for mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio.

Friday was the Southern California native’s last day as communications director for Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), who is locked in a competitive re-election campaign against Rep. Brad Sherman (D). In the 2010 cycle, Adler Weiss served as Midwest regional press secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Nevada communications director, Zac Petkanas, is heading to Las Vegas to run the war room for the 2012 campaigns, assisting President Barack Obama’s re-election and Rep. Shelley Berkley’s Senate campaign, Politico reported.

Petkanas will be joined in Nevada by Berkley’s new press secretary, Eric Koch, an associate in New York at BerlinRosen Public Affairs. Koch is a former press secretary for ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner (N.Y.).

GQR Goes Digital

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, a Democratic research and strategic consulting firm, announced Monday that it has launched a digital strategy service.

“A strong online presence is an absolute necessity in business and politics today,” a press release stated. “GQR Digital can help you maximize your resources in escalating your online presence. If you want to address issues with your online presence or want to know what the public is hearing and saying about your image, our GQR Digital practice can help.”

Its services include social media analytics, microtargeting, Web design and development, strategic consulting and outreach and advertising.

Giesser, Moran Square Up

Dewey Square Group announced last week that John Giesser and Ellen Moran are joining the national public affairs firm. Giesser will serve as chief operating officer and Moran as a principal.

Giesser, currently at grass-roots tech firm Spoken Hub, previously served as general election director and deputy director at the Democratic National Committee in 2000 and 2004. He was previously COO at City Year, a national service organization, and executive director of Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) Keeping America’s Promise political action committee.

Moran has served as chief of staff to former Commerce Secretary Gary Locke since April 2009, when she moved to the agency after three months as communications director in the White House. Moran previously served as executive director at EMILY’s List and as a corporate accountability coordinator at AFL-CIO. Moran handled independent expenditures at the DNC in 2004 and also directed the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s issue advocacy campaign in 2000.

Hitting the Trail

Veteran Republican spokesman Doug Heye is heading to Iowa to help guide the communications efforts of the state party and Chairman Matt Strawn leading up to the Iowa caucuses and forthcoming debates.

Also in Iowa, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) announced Thursday that state tea party Chairman Ryan Rhodes has joined her team as tea party outreach director.

Politico reported that Amanda Henneberg has joined former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign as a regional press secretary, with a focus on Iowa, South Carolina and Michigan.

Henneberg had served as communications director for Rep. Robert Hurt (R-Va.) since joining his campaign late in the 2010 cycle. She previously worked at the Republican National Committee, for then-Gov. Charlie Crist’s Florida Senate campaign before he left the GOP primary, and for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Chair Replacement

The Massachusetts Republican State Committee elected Bob Maginn chairman of the state GOP on Wednesday, replacing former Chairwoman Jennifer Nassour.

According to the Boston Globe, Maginn won easily and was the favored choice of presidential candidate and former Gov. Mitt Romney and Sen. Scott Brown. Maginn is currently CEO of Jenzabar software company and previously was an executive at Bain & Co., where Romney once worked.

The transition is not so smooth at the Minnesota Republican Party, with Chairman Tony Sutton quitting on Friday amid a $581,000 debt, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

State party activists met Saturday and elected Kelly Fenton deputy chairwoman. Fenton will serve as interim chairwoman until a replacement for Sutton is found.

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