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Special Teams: Democratic Operatives Work Bay State

One week out from the definitive special primary in Massachusetts’ 5th District, top Democratic operatives from around the country are consulting for candidates in the crowded field.

There are no fewer than five serious contenders for this open seat, and any of them could win. The winner of the Democratic primary will likely be the next member from this deep blue suburban Boston district.

Here is a rundown of each candidate’s team, in alphabetical order:

State Sen. William Brownsberger:

Campaign manager: Andrew Bettinelli

Media: GMMB

Polling: Benenson Strategy Group

Communications: Liberty Square Group

State Sen. Katherine Clark:

Campaign manager: Brooke Scannell

Mail: Mission Control

Media: 4CM&M

Polling: GBA Strategies

Digital: Dover Strategy Group

Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian:

Campaign manager: Chris Joyce

Press secretary: Jake Strassberger

Strategists: Northwind Strategies

State Rep. Carl Sciortino:

Campaign manager: Matt Larson

TV: Putnam Partners (Shop Talk recently profiled an ad Putnam created on the race.)

Mail: Gumbinner & Davies

Polling: Myers Research

State Senate Majority Whip Karen Spilka:

Campaign manager: Eric Hyers

Pollster: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research

Mail: Terris, Barnes & Walters

Media: New Voice Strategies

This is a race to replace Edward J. Markey, who ascended to the Senate earlier this year after serving decades in the House.

The special primary is scheduled for Oct. 15, and the special election is Dec. 10. Massachusetts’ 5th District is rated a Safe Democratic contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Wash. Democratic Chairman to Depart

Washington State Democratic Chairman Dwight Pelz announced last week that he will resign as the party leader effective Feb. 1.

“It has been my honor to serve the Democratic Party for the past eight years.” Pelz said in a statement. “I want to thank the Washington State Democratic Party for this, the greatest honor in my 40 year political career.”

The committee will meet next on Feb. 1, when party activists will elect a successor, according to The Seattle Times.

The Washington State Republican Party also faced some turnover recently. Evergreen State Republicans elected former TV news anchor Susan Hutchison to replace Kirby Wilbur as chairman in August.

Hill Aide to Run Nebraska Senate Race

Tyler Grassmeyer, outgoing chief of staff to Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., will head to Nebraska to run Midland University President Ben Sasse’s bid for Senate.

“I’m thrilled to be joining one of my personal and professional mentors as he seeks to become the next U.S. Senator from my home state of Nebraska,” Grassmeyer wrote in an email to colleagues.

Sasse, a Republican, filed paperwork to run for retiring GOP Sen. Mike Johanns’ seat in July. He faces a tough primary that will likely determine the next senator from this heavily Republican state.

Former state Treasurer Shane Osborn and a handful of less-organized Republicans are also running.

This race is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Utah County GOPs Help Out State Party

The Davis County and Utah County Republican parties are helping out the financially distressed Utah Republican Party, according to the Ogden Standard-Examiner.

Last cycle, the Utah GOP went $80,000 into the red in after making “technology and infrastructure” investments, plus helping Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love’s campaign for Congress, per the report.

Love faced Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson in one of the cycle’s most targeted and expensive House races. They will run against each other again in 2014.

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