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New Opportunity for Political Work in Beverly Hills

California, here they come.

Retiring Democratic Rep. Henry A. Waxman’s 33rd District covers some of the most prominent areas of California’s Southland. As a result of the newly opened seat, political operatives from across the country flocked in recent weeks to West Los Angeles.

California’s top-two primary system has the potential to beget an unpredictable race, so it remains to be seen which two candidates in the growing field will end up on the fall ballot.

Here are the teams for the most organized contenders at this point, in alphabetical order:

Deputy District Attorney Elan S. Carr (Republican)

Chief strategist/media consultant: John Thomas of Thomas Partners Strategies

Pollster: Probolsky Research

Communications: John Van Winkle

Finance director: Susie Avila

State Sen. Ted Lieu (Democrat)

General consultants: Gale Kaufman and Bill Carrick

Pollster: Fred Yang of Garin Hart Yang Research Group

Columnist Matt Miller (Democrat)

Pollsters: Stan Greenberg and Drew Lieberman of GQR Research

Fundraising consultant: Tracy Austin

Media consultants: Jeremy Oberstein and Mattis Goldman of Three Point Media

Direct mail: Andrew Acosta of Acosta Consulting

Spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson (Independent)

Online and television: Joe Trippi of Trippi & Associates.

General consultant and direct mail: John Shallman, Dave Jacobson and Mac Zilber of Shallman Communications

Campaign manager: David Keith

In our previous Shop Talk column, we profiled the team of Democrat Wendy Greuel.

Two Democrats Join EMILY’s List

EMILY’s List, an organization that backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights, announced Monday that two Democratic operatives have joined the group.

Alex Glass, a longtime aide to Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., signed on as communications adviser with the group’s campaign department. Hilary Nachem joined the same department as digital adviser. In 2012, she was the new media director for Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s campaign.

Both women will advise federal and gubernatorial candidates.

“I know their expertise and advice is going to help EMILY’s List candidates to run stronger campaigns and to win this November,” EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock said in a statement.

Udall Staffer Is Colorado-Bound

Chris Harris, the former spokesman for American Bridge, emailed colleagues on Monday to announce his move to Denver. He recently left the Democratic opposition research firm to be the new communications director on Democratic Sen. Mark Udall’s re-election campaign.

Dem Tech Firm Hires House Operative

NGP VAN, a Democratic technology firm, announced Monday that Democratic operative Kat Skiles joined the firm.

She will be the group’s spokeswoman and manage the firm’s “marketing execution and strategy development,” per a news release.

Previously, Skiles was press secretary and online strategy director for the House Democratic Caucus. Skiles built her career working on the campaigns of California Democratic Reps. Henry A. Waxman and Jackie Speier.

Former California GOP Leader to Challenge Newsom

Former California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring announced Feb. 18 in an email to supporters that he has “decided to begin the process to become the Republican Party’s nominee” to challenge Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom this year.

Nehring acknowledged the endeavor is a “big challenge” in the heavily Democratic state.

Bentivolio Challenger Staffs Up

Former State Department official Bobby McKenzie, a Democrat running for Michigan Republican Rep. Kerry Bentivolio’s 11th District, recently hired two staffers to his campaign.

McKenzie named David Beard as his campaign manager. Beard is a veteran of Michigan Democratic Rep. Gary Peters’ 2008 House race, the DCCC, House Majority PAC and American Bridge.

Brandon Cox will be McKenzie’s finance director. Cox worked on Gary McDowell’s 2012 race. He also has experience in Massachusetts politics and was North Carolina Rep. Mike McIntyre’s finance director.

iVote Hires an Executive Director

iVote, a Democratic group with the mission to elect Democratic secretaries of state in battleground states, announced last week that Steven Walker will be its executive director. He is a former acting Democratic National Committee political director.

iVote is the brainchild of Jeremy Bird, a former Obama operative and founding partner at the political consulting firm 270 Strategies. The recently formed group’s mission is to elect Democratic secretaries of state in battleground states across the country.

The firm also hired Democratic operative Lucas Fleischer as creative director on its digital team. Most recently, he was the Democratic National Committee’s digital director.

Republican Pollster Launches Firm

Republican pollster Brenda Wigger Gianiny launched Axis Research Inc., which, per a Feb. 19 news release, is “a full-service public opinion research firm providing traditional phone polling, web research, focus group studies, and ad testing for domestic and international corporations, trade associations, issue advocacy coalitions and political candidates.”

Most recently, Gianiny was a senior vice president at Voter/Consumer Research.

Emily Cahn contributed to this report. Please send news of developments in the political industry to and follow us on Twitter @RCShopTalk.

An earlier version of this article said Brandon Cox worked for Gary Peters in 2012. He worked on Gary McDowell?s 2012 race.

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