Alabama Race Showcases Robust Vs. Minimalist Campaigns

Posted September 30, 2013 at 3:04pm

The upcoming Alabama special-election primary runoff will feature a low-turnout match between a well-funded, highly organized campaign and an effort based predominantly on volunteer elbow grease.

Former state Sen. Bradley Byrne’s campaign boasts a team of seasoned consultants and vendors including:

• Campaign manager: Alex Schriver

• General consultant/digital consultant: Abe Adams of Targeted Victory

• Media consultant: Pat McCarthy of DMM Media

• Pollster: Jan van Lohuizen of Voter Consumer Research

• Direct mail: Danny O’Driscoll of PoliticalInk

Byrne’s opponent, businessman and political consultant Dean Young, is running a bare-bones operation. His sole political consultant is local operative Jonathan Gray.

In an interview with CQ Roll Call, Gray said both he and Young have been involved in a slew of Alabama-based campaigns. He went on to characterize the effort as predominantly volunteer-driven.

“I’d rather have another 100 volunteers than a high-paid media firm in the special election,” he said.

The primary runoff to replace former Rep. Jo Bonner is on Nov. 5, and the general election will be on Dec. 17. Republicans are expected to carry the seat.

Iowa GOP Chairman Strikes Back

After weeks of criticism from his own party, Iowa GOP Chairman A.J. Spiker wrote a lengthy email saying he will not step aside.

“I have no plans to slow down when it comes to defending the principles of marriage, low taxes and life,” he wrote.

The note was conciliatory in tone but firmly defensive of his tenure. He pointed to the next chairman’s election in 2015 as the time that those who believe him to be “unfit” can eject him.

“While we may not always agree, I think I’ve been pretty clear over the past year about promoting our platform and the steps I’m willing to take to ensure our party is as strong as it can be,” he added. “I enjoy being your Chairman and working with you to craft an even stronger party that educates Iowans, elects Republicans and advances the principles laid out in our platform.”

His response came days after the Polk County GOP of Iowa called on Spiker and Co-Chairman David Fischer to resign, according to The Des Moines Register. The most recent internal dispute is over next year’s convention date.

Spiker unsuccessfully sought to delay the GOP’s nominating convention date by a month, but the state GOP’s central committee moved the date back to its original June 14 slot, per The Des Moines Register.

Vermont GOP Chairman Hospitalized

Vermont GOP Chairman Jack Lindley has been hospitalized for more than a week, and The Associated Press has described his condition as “gravely ill.”

Vermont GOP Vice Chairwoman Deborah Bucknam said in a Thursday statement that Lindley “is continuing to recover at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center” in Hanover, N.H.

“Please continue to keep Jack, his wife Lynn, and the entire Lindley family in your thoughts and prayers,” she added.

The Wright Stuff

Republican operative Kevin Wright joined the Republican Governors Association this week as its new research director.

“As part of our team, Kevin’s talent will be put to good use highlighting and exposing Democratic governors and candidates for their failed policies and unfulfilled promises as we campaign to preserve the solid foundation Republican governors have built for their states,” RGA Executive Director Phil Cox said in a statement.

Wright formerly worked for former Vice President Dan Quayle’s leadership committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee and is the founder of Old Dominion Research Group.

DNC Hires New Digital Director

Former White House staffer Matt Compton joined the Democratic National Committee on Monday as its new digital director.

Most recently, Compton worked for the White House Office of Digital Strategy. He is returning to the DNC after previously serving as the committee’s director of new-media campaigns. He has also worked for Organizing for America and the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.

“Matt will lead our digital team working to ensure that we are using technology in a strategic way that is smart, efficient, and allows us to reach new voters nationwide,” DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement.

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