Iowa GOP Adds 3 to Communications Team

Posted July 21, 2014 at 3:54pm

The Republican Party of Iowa hired three staffers for its communications team as it makes a play for the state’s open Senate seat — a crucial race in the GOP’s quest for the Senate majority.

The party, which underwent a leadership change last month, brought on Jeff Patch as communications director, Tim Albrecht as digital director and Jahan Wilcox as rapid response director.

Patch comes to the state GOP from Concordia Group Public Affairs and, where he served as a writer. Albrecht, who will work as a consultant, previously worked on Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad’s 2010 gubernatorial bid and later served as communications director in the governor’s office.

Wilcox heads to Iowa from Capitol Hill after holding the same position at the Republican National Committee.

“The Iowa GOP will be laser-focused over the next two-and-a-half months on informing Iowans about Republican candidates up and down the ticket,” Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said in a statement. “The slate of GOP candidates this year is perhaps the best in my lifetime.”

DNC Invests in Fla. Voter Registration

The Democratic National Committee hired Zach Learner to lead the committee’s Voter Expansion Project in Florida — a key battleground state in 2016.

As the Florida director of the project, Learner will help “expand access to the ballot box” in the Sunshine State. He comes to the role after serving as chief of staff to Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs.

Broward County is Florida’s most populous county, and has a high population of Democratic voters.

“Voting is where our democracy begins and it is our fundamental right,” Learner said in a statement. “We will work to ensure that all eligible Floridians are able to register to vote, cast a ballot and have their voices heard.”

Digital Firm Adds Two

IMGE, a digital advocacy firm, announced hiring two staffers to lead the firm’s advertising and programmatic teams.

Anton Vuljaj, who will head up the firm’s advertising team, joins from Google, where he oversaw their political advertising outreach program for three years.

Katie Steiner, who will run the programmatic teams, joins the firm from

IMGE has done work for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Republican Governors Association and Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s 2012 presidential campaign, among others.

“Being able to attract top talent from companies like Google and Match shows the level of excitement around the products we are developing and services we are offering our clients,” IMGE co-founder Alex Skatell said in a statement. “This is an exciting time for our industry and we are committed to being at the forefront of the digital advertising space.”

Campaigns Staff Up

A number of campaigns have brought on communications staff with just more than three months to go until the general elections. They include:

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., hired Kristin Lynch as press secretary. Lynch moves to Udall’s campaign from the office of fellow Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, where she also served as press secretary.

Kenny Cunningham is the new communications director for GOP state Rep. Marilinda Garcia, who is running in an upcoming Republican primary in New Hampshire’s 2nd District.

North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis brought on Meghan Burris as press secretary. Burris joins the campaign from The Herald Group, a public relations firm in Washington, D.C.

Dean Petrone started as communications director for Republican surgeon Monica Wehby’s Senate campaign in Oregon. Petrone joins the campaign after serving as campaign manager for surgeon Chad Mathis’ bid for Alabama’s 6th District.

Bryan Lesswing recently joined the New Hampshire Democrats as deputy communications director after serving as communications director for Democratic physician Val Arkoosh’s bid in Pennsylvania’s 13th District. Arkoosh lost a crowded Democratic primary to state Rep. Brendan Boyle.

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