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Shop Talk: State of the States

Clark Durant, a GOP Senate candidate in Michigan, has added a communications director to round out his campaign team. Durant hired Joseph Koss, a Michigan native and adviser to Joe Miller’s 2010 Alaska Senate campaign, to handle media relations.

Durant said in a statement that Koss “worked for a candidate who was constantly in the media — so he knows what it takes to help spread the message of a D.C. outsider such as myself.”

Durant is facing former Rep. Pete Hoekstra in the primary for the chance to take on Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D). The rest of his team includes pollster Tony Fabrizio, SRCPmedia and digital strategy firm Targeted Victory.

The Pollies Return!

Last year was not a federal election year, but the American Association of Political Consultants handed out Pollie Awards for the best work of the past year at its annual conference late last month in Austin, Texas.

Among the winners were Whit Ayres of North Star Opinion Research and Jef Pollock of Global Strategy Group, who were named Republican and Democratic pollsters of the year, respectively.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee won four awards for its work on the Wisconsin recall elections, including for best independent expenditure ad in a state legislative race and best overall TV/radio campaign under the ballot/initiative category. PCCC co-founder Adam Green said in a statement that the group used new talent and tapped into “the emotionally compelling stories of real people in our grassroots membership” to make better ads for less.

On the Republican side, FP1 Strategies took home eight awards, mostly for its presidential campaign ads for Rep. Ron Paul (Texas), including best overall Republican TV/radio campaign of the year. FP1 Strategies partner Jon Downs said in a statement that the firm takes “great pride in producing innovative, strategic ads that stand out and move the needle in the discussion so that the message resonates among decision makers.”

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