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Shop Talk: Love in Politics

Battle for Albuquerque

Two of the candidates running for the open 1st district seat in New Mexico, which Rep. Martin Heinrich (D) is vacating to run for Senate, recently announced campaign team additions.

Former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez (D) has signed on Alan Packman as campaign manager. Packman managed Heinrich’s re-election in 2010, helping the incumbent pull off a 4-point win in a tough year for Democrats. Since that election, Packman has served as executive director of ProgressNow New Mexico.

“I’m very excited to have Alan onboard,” Chavez said. “He organized a very strong campaign last year and ran a terrific GOTV effort across the district, especially in the South Valley.”

Chavez’s Democratic primary opponent, state Sen. Eric Griego, announced a strong consulting team. The campaign will be managed by Ed Yoon, a former regional political director at the Democratic National Committee who ran independent expenditure campaigns in 2006 and 2008 for the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund.

Griego’s pollster is Michael Bocian, a founding partner of Gerstein Bocian Agne Strategies and veteran of the Democratic Governors Association, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Martha McKenna and Jennifer Pihlaja of McKenna Pihlaja, also veterans of the Democratic committees, are the media strategists. Alan Moore and Ed Espinoza of the Mack Crounse Group will serve as the direct-mail and targeting strategists.

If It Ain’t Broke...

Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) has assembled a Senate campaign team with some similarities to the one that helped Sen. Daniel Akaka (Hawaii) hold off a 2006 Democratic primary challenge from then-Rep. Ed Case, who happens to be Hirono’s opponent, too.

The Honolulu Star Advertiser reported that Hirono’s chief of staff, Betsy Lin, was a key adviser to Akaka’s 2006 campaign. Elisa Yadao will reprise the role she held for Akaka focusing on strategy and communications, and his campaign manager, Andrew Winer, also is joining Team Hirono.

Submit campaign staffing news and tips to Shop Talk here.

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