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Iowa GOP Chairman Leaves, Causing More Chaos

Iowa Republicans are on the hunt for a new leader after their controversial chairman, A.J. Spiker, stepped down from his position over the weekend.

Spiker has accepted a position as senior political adviser to Rand PAC, the political action committee for Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul. the Des Moines Register reported Saturday.

Iowa political insiders speculate that the new chairman will be cut from the same cloth as Spiker and will most likely be libertarian and an acolyte of Paul. The most obvious successor is Iowa Republican Party Co-Chairman Danny Carroll.

The current state central committee will select Spiker’s replacement on March 29. The new chairman will serve out the remainder of Spiker’s term, which expires in 2015.

“Spiker leaves the Republican Party of Iowa with more than $300,000 cash on hand, zero debt and with a voter registration advantage for Republicans over the Iowa Democratic Party,” touted an Iowa Republican Party news release of Spiker’s tenure on March 8.

But Spiker’s two-year tenure as the state party leader was fraught with tumult and his faction of activists was often at odds with supporters of GOP Gov. Terry E. Branstad.

The state central committee elections on April 26 could prove pivotal for the party. If Branstad’s supporters can take control of the central committee, the new chairman could be vulnerable. In Iowa, state central committee members need a majority of support to oust the chairman.

More Turnover at North Carolina Democratic Party

The North Carolina Democratic Party named Interim Executive Director Casey Mann as its new, permanent top staffer on Sunday.

She comes to the job after former executive director Robert Dempsey left the post in February. The NCDP has been in continuous turnover in recent years, according to WRAL.

It’s not uncommon for state parties to endure frequent turnover, but the stakes are especially high in North Carolina.

Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan will seek re-election this fall in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country. Earlier this cycle, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee invested in the NCDP to bolster Hagan.

Stefanik Announces Campaign Team

In her bid to replace retiring Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., former Bush White House staffer Elise Stefanik announced last week that New York State GOP operative Matt Masterson would manager her campaign team for New York’s 21st District.

“Matt brings an impressive résumé of political experience,” Stefanik said in a release. “He knows Upstate New York well having worked on many local races, and understands the issues that matter most to us. He will be a great addition as our campaign continues gaining support and momentum.”

The GOP candidate also named Empire State Republican operative Anthony Pileggi as her deputy campaign manager and director of operations. Stefanik faces a competitive June 24 primary. The race is currently rated a Tossup by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

New Jersey Congressional Campaign Staffs Up

New Jersey Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman announced last week her senior campaign team for her 12th District race.

Coleman is in a crowded Democratic primary to replace Rep. Rush D. Holt, who is retiring.

Her team includes:

Campaign manager: Adam Steinberger

Media Consultant: Fletcher Rowley

Pollster: Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group

Communications/direct mail: Sean Darcy

California Consulting Firm Picks Up Baldwin Staffer

Amber Shipley, a former staffer to Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, recently joined the San Francisco-based public affairs firm Barbary Coast Consulting.

“Her experience in high-stakes communications, policy and strategy matters will make her an instant asset to our clients — and we’re always excited to mix some D.C. attitude in with our West Coast sensibilities,” Barbary Coast founder Alex Clemens said in a release. “We’re very fortunate to have recruited Amber.”

Campaign Legal Center Hires Three

The Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit group, announced last week that three new people joined its staff, including former Federal Election Commission general counsel Larry Noble.

Noble served in that position at the FEC from 1987 to 2000. The group’s hires also include legal fellow Catherine Hinckley Kelley and operations manager Kazi Jones.

The CLC is “a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works in the areas of campaign finance and elections, political communication and government ethics,” according to the group’s website.

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An earlier version of this post mischaracterized Danny Carroll, describing him as a “libertarian and an acolyte of Paul.” We have updated the post to clarify his previous endorsements.

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