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Shop Talk: Busy Cycle in Tarheel State

File photo
Former Rep. Robin Hayes, seen here in 2000, will lead the North Carolina Republican Party as President Barack Obama attempts to win the Tarheel State a second time.

Former Rep. Robin Hayes was elected Saturday to a full two-year term as chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party. Hayes, who ran unopposed for the position, had been elected in January to serve the remainder of outgoing Chairman Tom Fetzer's term.

According to the Raleigh News & Observer, "In some ways, the convention was the kickoff of the 2012 election season, in which North Carolina is expected to be a battleground state with competitive races for president, governor, and legislature, and with reconfigured Congressional seats after redistricting."

President Barack Obama narrowly won North Carolina in 2008, and Democrats are holding their national convention next year in Charlotte.

Pulling for Pawlenty

Ann Marie Hauser has been named communications director for Tim Pawlenty's presidential campaign. Hauser started Monday and joins Press Secretary Alex Conant in the Minneapolis headquarters of the former Minnesota governor.

Hauser was most recently vice president of media relations at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and previously served as communications director for Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.). She has formerly served as press secretary and director of public affairs at the Department of Commerce, regional press secretary at the Republican National Committee and Iowa communications director for the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign.

Obama '12 Snags 'Technologist'

President Barack Obama's re-election campaign hired Harper Reed as chief technology officer, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Describing Reed as a "well-known Chicago technologist," the Tribune reported that the former chief technology officer "of clothing company Threadless joined the campaign in late April and will focus on helping field operators improve voter contact."

Online organizing, fundraising and advertising played a big role in Obama's 2008 victory, and the campaign will likely look to jump on the latest technology available to stay ahead of the competition.

Netroots Nation Next Week

White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer will deliver the keynote address and participate in a question-and-answer session with the more than 2,000 progressive activists expected to attend next week's Netroots Nation.

The sixth annual gathering will be held June 16-19 in Minneapolis. Other speakers include Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Obama national field director Jeremy Bird and Minnesota Democratic Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar.

Reps. Jared Polis (Colo.) and Donna Edwards (Md.) will hold a briefing on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Red to Blue program.

Former Sen. Russ Feingold (Wis.) is also scheduled to speak.

Hari Returns to His Roots

Hari Sevugan resigned Friday as national press secretary for the Democratic National Committee. Sevugan has signed on as vice president of communications for Students First, an education advocacy group formed by Michelle Rhee, the former chancellor of Washington, D.C., public schools.

Sevugan, a lawyer and former New York teacher who was raised in the Chicago area, was a senior spokesman on President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign. In previous cycles, Sevugan served as communications director for Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's 2006 campaign and policy director for Tim Kaine's Virginia gubernatorial campaign in 2005.

"I look forward to working with well-meaning people of all political stripes," Sevugan said in a statement, adding that education policy has been a "driving motivation" for his career as a Democrat.

"As a former teacher, I know that the challenges facing our educators are great," he said. "I look forward to working to ensure that our teachers have the support they need to do what's right by our students ... [and] to working to lift these teachers up, and ensuring that every student has an excellent teacher in his or her classroom."

Live Long at Prosper

Republican pollster and strategist Tyler Harber recently joined Prosper Group as a partner. Harber's experience includes more than a decade at top GOP polling firms Public Opinion Strategies and Wilson Research Strategies (now Wilson Perkins Allen Research).

"Tyler brings significant experience, strong contacts and considerable talents to our company," Prosper Group President Kristen Luidhardt said. "His consulting pedigree is exceptional, allowing him to leverage his vast network of contacts into a significant expansion of our client base."

Prosper Group also recently announced the additions of Dan Huber as Web project manager, Rachel Pecor as voter contact specialist and Jarrett Ray as account manager.

The Prosper Group provides online strategy, telephone voter contact and general consulting to campaigns, political organizations and public affairs clients. It worked on dozens of campaigns last cycle, including the Senate campaigns of Republican Sharron Angle in Nevada and GOP Sens. Scott Brown (Mass.), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and Dan Coats (Ind.).

RNC's Regional Strategists

The Republican National Committee has new regional political directors for the 2012 cycle. They are Chris Carr in the Western region, Jessica Ennis in the Southeastern region, John Gibson in the Northeastern region and Mark Jefferson in the Midwestern region.

Carr served as the Nevada GOP executive director, Ennis worked for the North Carolina GOP, Gibson for the Maryland GOP and Jefferson for the Wisconsin GOP, where now-RNC Chairman Reince Priebus was chairman.

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