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In Minnesota, Democratic operative Ken Martin is running for chairman of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, with Chairman Brian Melendez leaving in February after six years at the party. Martin most recently directed the successful recount effort for Gov.-elect Mark Dayton, a former Senator, and also led two DFL interest groups, the 2010 Fund and Win Minnesota, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Though they notched the gubernatorial victory, Democrats in the state were hit hard by losing the state Legislature and Rep. James Oberstar, who represents the state’s 8th district.
“We will have to prepare to make sure President Obama is re-elected and that we send Senator Amy Klobuchar back to Washington for a second term,” Martin wrote in a letter posted to his campaign’s Facebook page. The election is Feb. 5, and Martin is the only announced candidate so far.
On the Republican side, consultants Ben Golnik of Golnik Strategies and Gregg Peppin of P2B Strategies announced this week a strategic partnership to fill the void created with the influx of new state legislators in St. Paul. Golnik, who was a regional campaign chairman for Sen. John McCain in 2008, told Roll Call the team will focus on “public affairs, public relations and grass roots” work that is all of a sudden necessary in the state capital.
A similar St. Paul-based deal was announced last week between Goff & Howard, a public relations firm, and McClung Communications & Public Relations, headed by Brian McClung, the former spokesman to Pawlenty.
NRCC Gears Up for New Cycle
The National Republican Congressional Committee has named Mike Shields political director, Jenny Sheffield Drucker finance director and Paul Lindsay communications director. All three worked at the NRCC in the 2010 election cycle.
Trent Edwards, the field finance director in the last cycle, is leaving to serve as chief of staff for Rep.-elect Scott DesJarlais (Tenn.), according to an insider. And the office of Speaker-designate John Boehner (Ohio) is expected to announce its hiring of NRCC Deputy Executive Director Johnny DeStefano in the coming days.
Lindsay served as deputy communications director last cycle under Ken Spain, who is leaving the committee to serve as vice president of the Private Equity Growth Capital Council. Shields, who ran the committee’s independent expenditure unit, replaces Brian O. Walsh. And Drucker, who served as deputy finance director, replaces Elizabeth Verrill, who is returning to her political and nonprofit fundraising company, EV Strategies, according to a source.
Tom Erickson, the NRCC’s Midwest regional press secretary in the last cycle, started as communications director for Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.).
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Correction: Dec. 16, 2010
The article misstated Tom Erickson's employer. He was the NRCC's Midwest regional press secretary.