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Hill Climbers: Communications Director Has Bicameral Experience

But after several months, Kryder Spain felt called to get back into Democratic politics. So she took another chance at inching closer to Capitol Hill, this time as a research intern with EMILY’s List, the political action committee that aims to elect female candidates who support abortion rights.

After only two months in the internship, Kryder Spain got her shot at Congress. She assumed press responsibilities for Capps in the spring of 2006.

“It was like a lightning strike and the job was perfect,” she said. “They took a big chance on me because I didn’t have all the experience that a lot of people bring to the press positions on the Hill.”

In the lead-up to the 2008 elections, Capps allowed Kryder Spain to break from the office for a three-month stint as press secretary for the Mark Warner (D) campaign, as he successfully ran for Senate in Virginia. Even though Kryder Spain was thrilled with the result, the experience left her with the desire to work press on a statewide level.

“You not only communicated to the entire state, but also targeted certain populations and areas,” she said.

Even with Kryder Spain’s excitement at jumping over to the Senate, the move is still a bittersweet one. “I feel a bit like I’m leaving the nest,” she said. “I had a very good stay with Rep. Capps.”

But a good run is something the staffer now hopes to extend to the Carper office. “He shares many of the same qualities that I valued in my previous boss,” Kryder Spain said in an e-mail. “Since taking this position, many people on and off the Hill, Republican and Democrat, have told me what a wonderful person Sen. Carper is and how great he is to work with.”

Beltway insiders will recognize the last part of the staffer’s name. Kryder Spain is married to Ken Spain, communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

“There’s a little group of bipartisan couples in Washington, “ she said. “We’re both campaign junkies so we bond over that.”

But the couple indirectly connected even before Washington: Both are natives of southern California and graduates of the University of California system. They also unknowingly racked up numerous campaign connections.

The two married last October. Their limited free time is mostly spent with Dale, a bipartisan miniature dachshund.

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