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Shop Talk: Dan Conston Takes 2012 Focus; Nebraska Senate Hires

Dan Conston started today as communications director for a consortium of Republican-aligned groups.

Conston is moving over from the office of Chief Deputy Majority Whip Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) to take a leadership role at the issue advocacy firm American Action Network, the policy institute American Action Forum and the Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC, which supports House candidates.

“I’m excited to work with such talented people and to have the opportunity to influence the central political and policy fights of 2012 and beyond,” Conston said in an email.

Before rejoining Roskam’s office in 2011, Conston managed communications in 2010 for then-Rep. Jerry Moran’s (R-Kan.) Senate primary and for the Florida GOP for the general. In 2008, he did press for the presidential campaigns of former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) before joining Roskam for the first time in 2009.

“Dan is a seasoned operative with the proven skills and vision to lead our media operation,” former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), who helps lead all three center-right groups, said in a statement.

In other campaign staffing news, former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.) and his potential Republican opponent in the Nebraska Senate race, Jon Bruning, announced their campaign press secretaries in the past few days. Both new hires were journalists early in their careers.

Kerrey hired Chris Triebsch, who previously served as political director at the Nebraska Democratic Party. Bruning added Natalie Krings, who most recently served as deputy press secretary in the Capitol Hill office of Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) and previously served on Johanns’ campaign.

Read today’s Shop Talk column for more political industry news.

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