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Senate Staffers Rush to Help in Key Races

Still, some top Republican aides have fled D.C. temporarily for other parts of the country or have switched to campaign-related jobs in the nation’s capital. For both parties, West Virginia and Washington state have been popular destinations.

Josh Holmes, who runs Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Capitol Hill “war room,” took up residence at the NRSC’s D.C. headquarters weeks ago. The Kentucky Republican also lost longtime press aide Jennifer Morris to Washington state GOP candidate Dino Rossi’s campaign in June.

Kevin McLaughlin, the personal office communications director for NRSC Chairman John Cornyn (Texas), is working on behalf of West Virginia GOP candidate John Raese. Laena Fallon, an aide to Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), recently left to help Morris on Rossi’s campaign.

On the Democratic side, Matt Thornton, communications director for Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), was sent to West Virginia to join Gov. Joe Manchin’s campaign, which needed more resources in recent weeks as Republicans continue to tie the popular two-term governor to President Barack Obama and the national Democratic Party.

Rodell Mollineau, the “war room” chief of staff for Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), headed to Las Vegas last week, where his boss is in a fierce race against tea party favorite Sharron Angle. Mollineau is there to perform work in his official Senate capacity, not to help the campaign, Reid’s office said.

The Democratic exodus began months ago: In July, Ty Matsdorf joined Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s Senate campaign, which ran into controversy earlier this cycle after it was discovered that Blumenthal embellished his military record. Matsdorf permanently left his post as communications director for Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) to head up north, after previously honing his skills during Baucus’ 2008 re-election and the Arkansas June Democratic primary runoff between Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Lt. Gov. Bill Halter.

Adrianne Marsh, a former press aide to Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), relocated to Denver in April to return to Bennet’s staff as deputy campaign manager. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) loaned spokeswoman Tara Trujillo to the re-election campaign of Rep. John Salazar (D-Colo.).

A handful of Democratic staffers have flocked to Washington state, where Sen. Patty Murray (D) is vying for a fourth term against Rossi. Julie Edwards, former communications director to Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), became Murray’s campaign spokeswoman in July. Her colleague Alex Glass, previously Murray’s Senate communications director, became the deputy campaign manager in June.

Jeff Bjornstad, a native of Washington state, stepped down as Murray’s chief of staff last year to become the campaign manager.

 

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