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Florida Special: Meet the Consulting Teams

The special-election primary in the race to replace former Rep. Trey Radel is only a week away. The Republican field is crowded — three organized candidates are in the mix — and as a result state and national consultants are involved.

The winner on April 22 is all but certain to emerge victorious in the June 24 special for Florida’s safely Republican 19th District.

Here are the consulting firms working with Republican campaigns, according to news releases and Federal Election Commission records:

State Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto

• Fundraising: Taylor Strategies

• Direct mail: Public Concepts

• Pollster: McLaughlin & Associates

• Media consultants: Meteoric Media Strategies

Businessman Curt Clawson

• General consultant: John Yob, Strategic National

• Media consultant: Strategy Group

• Pollster: Gene Ulm, Public Opinion Strategies

•Direct mail: Erica Yob, E Design

•Digital consultant: Ethan Eilon, Pulse Red

Former state Rep. Paige Kreegel

•Media consultant: Momentum Strategy Group

•Campaign manager: Alex Melendez

Pollster: Cherry Communications

Sacramento Mayor Helms National Group

Sacramento Mayor Kevin M. Johnson will be sworn in Wednesday as the new president of the United States Conference of Mayors. The former NBA point guard replaces Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, who is running for Arizona governor. Because of Arizona’s resign-to-run law, Smith must leave his post and is no longer eligible to lead the organization.

Johnson, a potential candidate for statewide office in California, will finish out Smith’s term, which ends in June, and will continue on for an additional term ending in June 2015.

“Mayors are at the helm of America’s cities and represent the best of this country developing innovative, pragmatic solutions to the challenges they face,” Johnson said in a statement. “I look forward to learning from them while delivering results for Sacramento.”

Rubio Chief Heads to PAC

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., announced last week that his chief of staff, Cesar Conda, is leaving the job to become a senior adviser of Rubio’s Reclaim America PAC. Conda will continue as a part-time adviser to Rubio’s Senate office.

Ahead of a potential presidential bid, Rubio’s leadership PAC is helping out select Republican candidates this cycle, including running TV ads on behalf of Rep. Tom Cotton, who is running for Senate in Arkansas.

Deputy Chief of Staff Alberto Martinez will take over as Rubio’s top official staffer. State director Todd Reid will succeed Martinez.

“I’m proud of the work our entire team has done in developing and introducing our American Dream agenda, which provides solutions to the challenges and opportunities our people face, while also outlining a strong vision for America’s role in the world,” Rubio said in a statement.

Tea Party Patriots Name Spokesman

The Tea Party Patriots named Maryland GOP operative Scott Hogenson as its new communications director last week.

Hogenson previously worked in the George W. Bush administration as a deputy assistant secretary in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“We’re excited to have someone of Scott’s caliber working to expand our communications efforts,” Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin said in a statement. “His energy, breadth of knowledge and political savvy will be tremendous assets to Tea Party Patriots.”

NRCC Names New Digital Operative

The National Republican Congressional Committee named Thomas Newhouse as digital political director. Newhouse formerly worked at the digital firm Targeted Victory.

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