Shop Talk: Bipartisan Is King

Posted March 26, 2012 at 5:39pm

In keeping with his Independent bid for Maine’s open Senate seat, former Gov. Angus King announced the additions of a Democrat and Republican to his campaign team.

Former state Sen. Marge Kilkelly (D), who most recently served as deputy director of the eastern region of the Council of State Governments, has signed on as policy director. Longtime GOP strategist Edie Smith was named political and field director.

“I am very excited about bringing these two women to the team,” King said in a statement. “Both have considerable background in policy and campaigns which will add strength to our efforts.”

Albuquerque to Alexandria

GOP operative Bryan Watkins has left his position as executive director of the New Mexico Republican Party to join Alexandria, Va.-based Targeted Victory as a senior political analyst. He will work alongside co-founder Michael Beach with the firm’s political action committee clients.

Watkins joined the state party in February 2011. In 2010, he served as the Republican National Committee’s national 72-hour director and was responsible for get-out-the-vote plans in more than 100 targeted House districts, according to his résumé.

Watkins, a Golden State native, also managed Damon Dunn’s successful primary campaign for California secretary of state in 2010.

Targeted Victory is a campaign technology firm that focuses on online advertising, mobile communications, social networking and integrated data management for candidates and causes.

New Mexico GOP Communications Director Annaliese Wiederspahn, daughter of Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), is serving as interim executive director while the party conducts a hiring search.

Like a Rock

Veteran operative Andy Stone is joining the Democratic-aligned House Majority PAC as communications director.

“We are thrilled to have Andy on board,” the political action committee’s executive director, Ali Lapp, said in a statement. “Andy brings many assets to House Majority PAC — his understanding of the House, experience in California — one of our most important states in 2012 — and he knows firsthand what it’s like to be fighting for progressive principles and policies every day.”

Stone joins the independent expenditure-only committee, focused on helping Democrats win back a majority in the House, after working in the office of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), where he has served as press secretary for about a year. He spent the 2010 election cycle as the western regional press secretary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Already on staff at House Majority PAC are Lapp, Deputy Director Shannon Roche, researcher Matt Fuentes and Operations and Finance Assistant Kaitlyn Beck.

“I am excited to join House Majority PAC,” Stone said in a statement. “I look forward to working with this talented team to hold Republicans accountable for their extreme and out of touch policies — and to help win back the House.”

Stone previously served as communications director for Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.), as a senior consultant for online communications at M+R Strategic Services and worked in several capacities on Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) 2004 presidential campaign.

Biden Their Time in Chicago

The Obama campaign announced a team of six operatives assigned to Vice President Joseph Biden through the November elections.

The team consists of four former Senate staffers and three White House aides, including Amy Dudley, who falls into both categories. Dudley, a former Hotline staff writer and now Biden’s campaign press secretary, most recently served on the official side as Biden’s deputy press secretary and was previously press secretary to former Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.), who replaced Biden in the Senate.

Sheila Nix is Biden’s chief of staff, Scott Mulhauser is deputy chief of staff, Trip King is political director, Nora Cohen is deputy director of advance and Virginia Lance is scheduler.

Nix most recently served as U.S. executive director for the ONE campaign and was previously chief of staff to Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and ex-Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.). Mulhauser, a veteran of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, serves as a senior adviser and counsel to the Senate Finance Committee and has held other senior communications positions.

King is a South Carolina native, served as a top staffer to former Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.) and in 2007 was South Carolina state director for Biden’s presidential campaign.

Like Dudley, Cohen and Lance both recently worked for Biden in the White House. Cohen, a 2008 campaign veteran, most recently was the vice president’s deputy director of advance, and Lance was Biden’s scheduler.

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