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Shop Talk: FinkenHogan to Be Reunited

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
White House staffer Ben Finkenbinder (left) will leave for Chicago to work for President Barack Obama’s campaign. He and fellow press aide Nick Shapiro surfed during the president’s recent vacation to Hawaii.

White House press aide Ben Finkenbinder is leaving to join President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in Chicago as a regional press secretary, the Chicago Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet reported.

Finkenbinder is best known by reporters for his role, along with Katie Hogan, in helping to wrangle the press pool on trips. Hogan also has moved to Chicago to work for the campaign. Together, they earned the nickname “FinkenHogan.”

Finkenbinder, one of the president’s frequent golfing buddies, joined Obama’s 2008 campaign right out of college and handled media clips. He rose through the ranks at the White House to become associate director of press advance and press pool wrangler.

Other former White House press staffers have already joined the campaign, including press secretary Ben LaBolt and Hogan, who is deputy press secretary.

Northwest Passage to Congress

Montana Republican Steve Daines, who is running for the seat being vacated by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R), has his campaign team in place. Managing the campaign will be Zach Lahn, who served as deputy campaign manager last cycle for Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.).

Daines has also hired Bob Moore for polling and the Strategy Group’s Rex Elsass for media.

In neighboring Washington state, Republican John Koster made it official last week that he is running for Congress again after losing by 2 points last cycle to Rep. Rick Larsen (D).

Koster has signed up Allied Communication Strategies, a full-service consulting firm in the state led by Tom McCabe, Brian Minnich, Erin Shannon and Bob Wickers.

Wickers is also co-founder and president of Dresner Wickers Barber Sanders and was a top consultant on former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Resolute and Expanding

Resolute Consulting, a national public affairs and strategic communications firm, has hired two consultants in the last month and opened a new office in Detroit.

Democratic consultant Jason Ellenburg was hired as vice president and will manage the firm’s new Detroit office. Working for Resolute and its sister company, Central Strategies, a full-service political consulting firm, he will help Michigan-based clients with campaign management, field and communications consulting.

Ellenburg, a Central Michigan University grad who worked for National Journal 10 years ago, managed Rep. John Dingell’s (D-Mich.) campaign last cycle and Sen. Carl Levin’s (D-Mich.) re-election bid in 2008.

Resolute also recently brought on Jordan Stark as vice president to manage the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. Stark was communications director for former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) and worked on then-Rep. George Nethercutt’s (R) 2004 challenge to Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

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