Skip to content

The Consultant Teams Behind the N.C. Senate Primary

Tuesday is primary day in North Carolina, and Republicans expect state Speaker Thom Tillis to garner more than 40 percent — just enough to avoid a runoff — in the Senate primary and advance to challenge Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in November.

Should Tillis finish just shy of that threshold, it would extend the primary to a July 15 runoff among the top two finishers.

Tillis faces a number of Republican opponents, most notably physician Greg Brannon and Pastor Mark Harris.

Here are the teams who worked on each of these top-tier Senate campaigns, according to the campaigns and Federal Election Commission reports.

Thom Tillis:

General Consultant: Paul Shumaker of Capitol Communications

Fundraising: Highwood Capital

Media: On Message Inc.

Mail: Lisella Public Affairs

Polling: Public Opinion Strategies

Greg Brannon

Campaign Manager: Reilly O’Neal of Tidewater Strategies

Mail: Saber Communications

Mark Harris

Tom Perdue, who owns the Atlanta-based Perdue Group and was a longtime consultant to Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., served as the general consultant for Harris’ campaign, taking the lead on fundraising, media, mail and polling.

Mike Rusher, who was the victory director for the Republican National Committee in 2012, is Harris’ campaign manager.

National Republican Congressional Committee Adds Three

The NRCC added three new members to its team for the midterm elections, just as primary season kicks off.

The new hires are:

Michael Byerly: communications and digital coordinator

Mollie Riester: TV and radio director

Ashleigh Grant: deputy digital political director

“We are truly excited to have added Mollie, Michael and Ashleigh as part of an already stellar team that is dedicated to growing our Republican majority,” NRCC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek said in a release.

Former Reid Staffer Heads To Youth Voting Org

Sarah Lovenheim has joined Young Invincibles as communications director.

“We’re excited to have Sarah join the team,” Jen Mishory, the organization’s executive director, said in a statement. “Her experience will be extremely valuable as Young Invincibles works to elevate the voices of young adults on key economic issues such as access to health care, education and jobs.”

Lovenheim worked at the Hotline and Washington Post before joining the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Most recently she worked in communications for Darrel Thompson, a former Reid staffer who ran for D.C. city council in Ward 6.

Beatty Hires New Communications Director

Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, has hired Galen Alexander as communications director.

Alexander comes to Beatty’s office after working on a number of campaigns, including Connecticut Democratic Rep. Jim Himes’ 2012 re-election bid.

The freshman congresswoman represents a safe, Columbus-based district.

Alaska GOP Looks to Stop Tea Party Takeover

The Alaska Republican Party amended its rules at a convention over the weekend to shield its leadership from being taken over by tea party and libertarian activists, according to a local report.

The new rules state that anyone seeking a top leadership position must have been a registered Republican for at least four years and be vetted by a special committee before they run.

The rule switch comes after supporters of former Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, took over the party in 2012.

Please send news of developments in the political industry to and follow us on Twitter @RCShopTalk.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story misstated Michael Byerly’s title. He is the communications and digital coordinator for the NRCC.