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Washington State GOP Elects Ex-TV Anchor as Chairwoman

Washington Republicans elected former TV news anchor Susan Hutchison as their new party leader in August.

It was a competitive race and several state GOP operatives were doubtful of her chances. The bet was that the grass-roots opposition would prove too stiff, but Hutchison ultimately prevailed.

“My experience running for office in 2009, 25 years in media and 10 years working in the non-profit sector gives me the skills and experience needed for this job right now. I am looking forward to helping the voters elect good Republicans to work with good Democrats to do good for the citizens of the state,” Hutchison said in a statement from the party.

The former state chairman, Kirby Wilbur, abruptly resigned earlier in the summer. He left the party to work for a conservative group called Young America’s Foundation, according to The Seattle Times.

Kingston Hires Elsass Firm

Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., has hired The Strategy Group for Media to handle his media campaign for his 2014 Senate bid to replace retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss, per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Kingston is in a highly competitive, crowded GOP primary.

The Strategy Group for Media has been a source of intrigue since several former company leaders engaged in litigation with each other.

Rouzer-ing the Troops

Former Republican state Sen. David Rouzer announced Wednesday the campaign team that will lead his rematch bid against Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C.

The new team includes two recent National Republican Congressional Committee officials and some returning players from his 2012 team. McIntyre defeated Rouzer in 2012 by about 700 votes, and the race is rated a Pure Tossup by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.


General consultant: Brock McCleary of Long Nyquist & Associates. McCleary was the NRCC’s 2012 polling director/deputy political director; he left the committee not long after last year’s elections.

Media/digital consultants: Brad Todd and Guy Harrison of On Message Inc. Harrison was the NRCC’s 2012 cycle executive director.


Senior adviser: Bob Rosser of Impact Strategies

Pollster: Nicole McCleskey of Public Opinion Strategies

Finance director: Sarah Hill Waters

Communications director: Jessica Wood of Majority Connections

Emerson Aide Joined Grant Thornton

Atalie Ebersole, formerly executive assistant to ex-Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., joined Grant Thornton LLP as its new PAC and grass-roots manager.

On Your Mark

Erik Dorey recently joined Arkansas Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor’s re-election campaign team as deputy campaign manager, according to his Twitter account.

Dorey is a former press secretary for Sen. Claire McCaskill and the Oregon Democratic Party, as well as a former communications director for former Rep. David Wu, D-Ore.

On Your Other Mark

Democratic operative Mark Bergman is leaving Mission Control, a top Democratic direct-mail firm, to become the communications director for Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz’s 2014 gubernatorial bid in Pennsylvania.

Schwartz is one of several candidates running for the Democratic nomination and the chance to oust embattled GOP Gov. Tom Corbett.

While a senior strategist at Mission Control, Bergman worked on the campaigns of Democratic Reps. Brad Schneider of Illinois, Robin Kelly of Illinois and John F. Tierney of Massachusetts and New Hampshire Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan.

Previously, Bergman served as communications director for former Rep. Paul Hodes’ Senate bid in New Hampshire. He held a similar role with the Virginia Democratic Party.

Great Scott!

Scott Rasmussen, the founder of polling firm Rasmussen Reports left the organization in July, according to a company release.

Chief Operating Officer Mike Boniello will helm the firm “until a replacement for Mr. Rasmussen is named,” the company said.

The release gave no indication of the reason for the departure.

“The Company emphasized that Mr. Rasmussen’s legacy remains intact,” the release said. “His polling methodologies and protocols, widely acknowledged as among the most accurate and reliable in the industry, continue to guide and inform the company’s public opinion survey techniques. In addition, the editorial culture of excellence that he built is still very much in place.”

Generally speaking, Rasmussen is controversial within the polling community.

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