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Seitchik most recently worked with California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner’s (R) gubernatorial campaign. He also served as communications director for former Sen. Mike DeWine’s (R-Ohio) failed re-election bid in 2006, and ran Rep. Dan Lungren’s (R-Calif.) victorious campaign to return to Congress in 2004.

Rubio, a former state Speaker in the Sunshine State, appears headed for the primary showdown with Gov. Charlie Crist (R) in the open-seat race. Crist is expected to announce whether he will run to succeed Sen. Mel Martinez (R) in the coming days.

On the Ball. New York Assemblyman Greg Ball, the likely Republican nominee against Rep. John Hall (D-N.Y.) next year, already has a full consulting team in place. For polling and general consulting, he is using Mike DuHaime of Mercury Public Affairs. DuHaime recently went to the New York-based firm after running the 2008 presidential campaign of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) and serving as political director at the Republican National Committee.

For media, Ball is using Jamestown Associates, and Ed Traz of the Traz Group will handle voter contact mail. Ball said he may also use Barry Zeplowitz of Barry Zeplowitz & Associates, a Buffalo-based Republican consulting firm that handled polling for his prior campaigns.

On the Mark. California state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D), one of three frontrunners in the nascent race to replace Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.), has hired some consultants. He is using Los Angeles-based John Shallman as a general consultant and for media. Shallman filled the same role for another California special election winner, Rep. Laura Richardson (D), in 2007.

Oakland-based Alex Evans is serving as DeSaulnier’s pollster. And Mike Fraioli of Washington, D.C.-based Fraioli & Associates is handling national fundraising.

Tauscher has been nominated for a top post at the State Department, but until she is confirmed, no date has been set for a special election to fill her East Bay seat. DeSaulnier is one of the top three contenders in the still-developing race.

Radio Static. The National Republican Congressional Committee has picked up Jon Thompson to be its director of radio and television this cycle.

Thompson is an alumnus of the Republican National Committee communications shop last cycle, working under communications directors Lisa Miller and Danny Diaz. A native Tar Heel, Thompson graduated from University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2007.

Josh Kurtz and David M. Drucker contributed to this report.

Submit campaign staffing news and tips to Shop Talk here.

Correction: May 8, 2009

The article incorrectly reported some of the duties of the consultants working for Greg Ball, a Republican Congressional candidate in New York. The Traz Group is doing voter contact mail. Jamestown Associates is handling media.

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