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Washington Democratic Party Chairman Race Escalates

Democratic operative Nancy Biery abruptly withdrew Thursday from Washington’s upcoming race for state party chairman.

“While it’s clear there are many changes our party desperately needs to get back on solid ground, it’s my assessment that the status quo forces are unwilling to make those changes,” Biery wrote in a release, adding that she would not immediately endorse a candidate.

Outgoing Washington State Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz announced in October that he would leave the party in February.

Four candidates are still in the running for the job. The top two, per Pelz, are state party Executive Director Jaxon Ravens and Dana Laurent, the executive director of the nonprofit Win/Win Network.

“Jaxon is a very progressive Democrat. And Dana is a very progressive Democrat,” Pelz said in a Monday phone interview with CQ Roll Call. “Nancy Biery didn’t have any votes, so she had to blast people on the way out the door.”

Biery rolled out her bid for the job in November. The election is Feb. 1.

Hagan Aide Heads to Campaign

Senate operative Sadie Weiner is leaving Kay Hagan’s office and moving to Greensboro, N.C., to work on the senator’s re-election campaign.

Hagan’s re-election is at the center of the battle for the Senate in 2014. The North Carolina Senate race is already the most expensive Senate race in the country.

Weiner, a graduate of the University of Texas, is a Senate campaign veteran. She worked on Hagan’s 2008 race and Sen. Sherrod Brown’s 2012 re-election in Ohio.

Weiner’s deputy, Amber Moon, has been promoted to communications director. Moon joined Hagan’s office earlier this year, after serving as a regional press secretary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last cycle.

House Hopeful Gathers Team in Mich.

State Rep. Rudy Hobbs’ House campaign unveiled its political team last week. Hobbs is one of many Democrats running to succeed Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich., who is seeking the Senate. Here’s his team:

•Campaign managers: Jamaine Dickens and Diana McBroom of DMC Strategies

•Media consultant: Joe Slade White of Joe Slade White & Company

•Pollster: Mark Mellman of The Mellman Group

•Direct mail: Terry Walsh of The Strategy Group

The Democratic primary in the Detroit-based 14th District will all but certainly determine Peters’ successor. President Barack Obama won the heavily Democratic district last year with 81 percent.

W.Va. GOP Executive Director Leaves

West Virginia Republican Party Executive Director Ward Wyatt is leaving the organization. The party has not announced a successor yet.

Wyatt’s Democratic counterpart, Jacob Winowich, also stepped down from his position as West Virginia Democratic Party executive director last month.

RLCC Names Political Director

The Republican Legislative Campaign Committee recently hired Justin Richards as its new political director.

Richards is a veteran New Jersey Republican operative. He also worked on Republican Rep. Sean P. Duffy’s 2012 re-election in Wisconsin.

The RLCC is dedicated to electing GOP state legislators.

Hilltop Hires Ex-NARAL President

Former NARAL President Nancy Keenan joined Hilltop Public Solutions, the company announced last week.

“Hilltop’s team has a powerful record of success, they know what it takes to win, and they’re committed to Montana values,” Keenan said in a statement.

Hilltop has several offices around the country, but its western operations office is based in Billings, Mont. Keenan, a Treasure State native, will hold the title special counsel. She retired from NARAL in 2012.

King Aide Joins Campaign for Governor

Crystal Canney, former spokeswoman to Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, is joining the gubernatorial campaign of another Maine independent, Eliot Cutler, per Mainebiz.

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