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Consultants Win Pollie Awards, Candidates Staff Up

The American Association of Political Consultants met in San Diego over the weekend for its annual conference and “Pollie Awards.”

The nonpartisan organization distributed dozens of awards to various firms, consultants and campaigns. The “2014 Campaign Excellence Award Winners” include:

Republican Campaign Strategist of the Year: Mike DuHaime, Mercury, LLC; Campaign: Christie for Governor, 2013 New Jersey gubernatorial election

Democratic Campaign Strategist of the Year: Joe Slade White, Joe Slade White & Company; Campaign: Mike Duggan for mayor of Detroit, write-in campaign

Republican Campaign Manager of the Year: Ryan Horn, Redstone Communications; Campaign: Jean Stothert for mayor of Omaha

Democratic Campaign Manager of the Year: Bill Hyers; Campaign: Bill de Blasio for mayor of New York City

Republican Pollster of the Year: Linda DiVall, Randall Gutermuth, David Kanevsky, American Viewpoint; Campaign: Vance McAllister for Congress, 2013 special election in Louisiana’s 5th District

Democratic Pollster of the Year: Anna Greenberg, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research; Campaign: Bill de Blasio for mayor of New York City

Himes Spokeswoman Heads To Business Forward

Democratic operative Elizabeth Kerr recently left her position as spokeswoman for Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., to lead the new communications team at the trade group Business Forward. Kerr is among a handful of new staffers at Business Forward, which also recently hired Erik Roos as a policy analyst, Kira Ayish as press secretary and Shumway Marshall, who will run the online media operation.

Utah Dems to Select New Chairman

Utah Democratic delegates will meet on April 26 to select a new state party chairman.

Jim Dabakis stepped down from the position late last month for unnamed health reasons. The front-runners to replace him are former Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon and Brigham Young University political scientist Richard Davis.

Filing for the position closes Friday.

Arizona House Candidate Staffs Up

State Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Ariz., announced his campaign team last week. Gallardo is running in the Safe Democratic seat to succeed retiring Democratic Rep. Ed Pastor.

Given the nature of the 7th District, the Aug. 26 primary will essentially decide the next member from this Phoenix-based district.

•Democratic operative John V. Gomez will run day-to-day operations. He is currently the senior council aide to Pastor’s daughter, Phoenix City Councilwoman Laura Pastor. He will resign from that position effective Wednesday.

•Frank T. Costanzo is the senior campaign adviser. He is a former campaign manager for ex-Rep. Harry Teague, D-N.M.

•Andrea “Andi” Pringle will also be a senior campaign adviser. She previously worked on the Howard Dean and Bill Richardson presidential campaigns.

•Julie Norton of SKDKnickerbocker is the media consultant.

•Michael Bocian of GBA Strategies is the pollster.

•Stephanie Mellinger of the Mellinger Group will lead fundraising.

Anzalone Liszt Grove Adds On

Democratic pollster John Anzalone recently announced the addition of Kevin Akins to Anzalone Liszt Grove Research.

“He has a great depth of experience as a pollster and strategist,” Anzalone said in a statement. “Kevin is going to be an important part of our team that helps clients achieve their goals this cycle.”

Previously, Akins worked for polling firm Hamilton Campaigns.

Scott Brown Brings Back Old Hand

Former Sen. Scott P. Brown, R-Mass., recently hired Colin Reed as campaign manager for his Senate comeback bid in New Hampshire. Reed, who was Brown’s communications director during his 2012 re-election bid, began April 2 after stepping down as communications director to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Mercury Hires New Counsel

Mercury, a communications strategy firm, announced last week that attorney and political adviser Mark Baker joined the firm as a counsel. Baker, who resides in Helena, Mont., is part of the firm’s expansion into the Northwest region.

“Mark is a critical addition to the firm, with impressive experience in both national and Montana politics,” Mercury partner Vin Weber said.

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