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Shop Talk: A Primary to Watch

As he prepares for a primary against a Democratic colleague, Pennsylvania Rep. Mark Critz is sticking with the consulting team that propelled him to Congress in a 2010 special election.

“We hired the best and the brightest in this business, all of whom have track record of winning tough election fights,” said Critz, who will face Rep. Jason Altmire in a primary in the redrawn 12th district.

Critz’s top-flight consulting team includes Global Strategy Group for polling, Murphy Vogel Askew Reilly for media, the Mack Crounse Group for direct mail and the Angerholzer Team for fundraising.

Lindsay Angerholzer, the president of the firm, has previously worked for Altmire. So has Mike Mikus, who returns to the Critz campaign as a strategic consultant. Mikus was Altmire’s campaign manager in 2008.

Critz brought in Tony Coppola to manage the campaign. Coppola, who has experience in Western Pennsylvania, most recently led an unsuccessful Knoxville, Tenn., mayoral campaign.

Not Going Anywhere

Maryland Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R), whose age and redrawn district pushed him to the top of retirement watch lists earlier this cycle, is running for re-election.

The Maryland filing deadline was last week and the 85-year-old Congressman announced his consulting team. Bob Wickers of Dresner Wickers Barber Sanders will serve as general consultant and lead strategist.

Wickers, an adviser to Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign in 2008, also just signed on with Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign as a senior adviser.

Maryland GOP Chairman Alex Mooney’s campaign manager, Ted Dacey, has now signed on to manage Bartlett’s campaign and will oversee the grass-roots, political and local fundraising programs. Mooney had been considering a run in the event Bartlett retired.

Terry Allen will serve as Bartlett’s senior adviser, Steve Hilliard and Jennifer Hilliard of Castle Strategies are handling new media and online efforts, and Kirk Clinkenbeard is in charge of national fundraising.

Same Seat, Different Boss

Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) named Andrew Wilder as communications director for his Senate campaign.

Wilder, a third-generation Arizonan and University of Arizona graduate, served in the same position for retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R), whose seat Flake is running for. Wilder handled media for Kyl for nearly 13 years in both his Capitol Hill and Phoenix offices. He left that job last week.

“He is well-known as a skilled communicator who brings a wealth of experience with media in Arizona and on Capitol Hill that will be helpful to this campaign,” Flake said in a statement.

Head in the Campaign Clouds, a provider of online political solutions, named Justin Hart vice president of campaign and business relations, overseeing the rollout of the company’s new cross-product platform Campaign Cloud.

Hart, an online strategist, is a former managing director of RaiseDigital and has worked for Mitt Romney, former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.), Chuck DeVore’s California Senate campaign and Joe Miller’s Alaska Senate campaign.

“Justin’s professional prowess, combined with his deep political consulting experience, will help drive ElectionMall’s product line and partnerships, and will serve our United States client base in a powerful and impactful way,” ElectionMall CEO Ravi Singh said.

Expanding the Base

The Republican National Committee named Bettina Inclán as director of Hispanic outreach, part of an expanded strategy to reach a fast-growing segment of the electorate that the party hopes to perform better with.

“We’ll be adopting a multi-faceted approach to connecting with the Hispanic community using both digital outreach as well as traditional voter identification and get out the vote efforts,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said on a conference call announcing the new initiative.

Inclán is a former executive director of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly and has served on campaigns at the national, state and local level. Last cycle, Inclán was press secretary for Steve Poizner’s California gubernatorial campaign before joining now-Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign.

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