Republican Gets Top Florida Team for Special Election

Posted November 18, 2013 at 5:46pm

Within weeks of announcing his bid to replace the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young, GOP lobbyist David Jolly has swiftly put in place a campaign team with deep political experience in the Sunshine State.

It was unclear as of press time if Jolly will face a primary opponent, but he is by far the most organized Republican contender in the sprint to the Jan. 14 primary. The filing deadline for Florida’s 13th District special election is noon on Tuesday.

Jolly’s team includes Nick M. Hansen as senior adviser; Marc Reichelderfer as senior campaign consultant; Adam Goodman of The Victory Group as media consultant; Pat Bainter of Data Targeting as campaign consultant; and Sarah Bascom as the communications director.

Notable: Bascom told CQ Roll Call she is also Jolly’s cousin.

If Jolly wins the GOP nomination, he will likely face off against former gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink, the all-but-certain Democratic nominee.

The special election is March 11.

More Strife in Iowa GOP

The Dubuque County GOP issued a vigorous defense of state GOP Chairman A.J. Spiker in an open letter addressed to Spiker and the Republican National Committee.

Spiker has spent the past few months on the receiving end of fire from a handful of Iowa county Republican parties. But the letter, penned by Dubuque County GOP Chairman Rick Holman and a handful of other officers, stated that Spiker “has earned our faith, trust and full support in his duties as our State Chairman.”

The majority of the letter seethed anger at the national party. The county committee charged that Republican leaders did not adequately support “Constitutional, conservative candidates” in 2010 and 2012 Senate races and that many of these candidates lost their bids. The letter also blamed Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s gubernatorial loss on the national party.

An RNC spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.

At the same time, the RNC and Iowa GOP hired operative Chad Olsen as the new RNC state director for Iowa.

Governors Group Adds 3 to Staff

The Western Governors’ Association announced that three new employees joined the group last week.

The WGA named Laura Wilkeson, a former staffer to Oregon Democrats Rep. Kurt Schrader and Sen. Ron Wyden as its Washington-based manager of federal affairs. Katie Kalinowski and Chris Scolari joined the association as Denver-based policy advisers.

The WGA is a nonpartisan group that coordinates the regional interests of 19 western states.

R.I. Democrats Name New Director

Rhode Island Democratic Party Chairman David Caprio last week named Jonathan Boucher as the state party’s new executive director.

Boucher was previously the party’s interim executive director and field director.

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