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Mark Standriff has left his position as communications director at the California Republican Party and will soon be named senior communications adviser to GOP Senate candidate Elizabeth Emken.
Standriff, a former radio show host, has worked at the state party for the past two years. Along with working on Emken’s challenge to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D), Standriff will be an adviser, consultant and trainer for a number of Republican campaigns.
Replacing him at the state party is Jennifer Kerns, founder of K Street Communications and a former spokeswoman for California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner.
“Mark has been a tireless member of our senior staff and dedicated himself to improving the CRP’s communications efforts by helping me reach more voters in more corners of our state,” California GOP Chairman Tom Del Beccaro said in a statement.
Del Beccaro added that Kerns brings “a great deal of creativity that will help us drive our message in 2012.”
Lone Star Campaign
In other big-state Senate news, Jason Gibson, president of the Houston Trial Lawyers Association, is staffing up for his bid for the Texas Democratic Senate nomination.
Ed Espinoza, a former western states political director at the Democratic National Committee, has signed on as general consultant and campaign manager. In 2010, Espinoza ran the Latino ground operation for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) campaign and wrote the DNC’s Latino outreach plan for Sen. Michael Bennet’s (D-Colo.) campaign.
Kirsten Gray, the press director at the Texas Democratic Party for the past two election cycles, will serve as communications director. Houston-based strategist Keir Murray, who’s worked on campaigns for former Rep. Nick Lampson (D) and a couple of Houston mayors, is political director. Jason Stanford, who managed former Rep. Chris Bell’s 2006 gubernatorial campaign, is the chief research consultant.
Trover Heads Over
The National Republican Senatorial Committee is adding Lance Trover as deputy communications director for the remainder of the 2012 cycle.
Trover, who starts Monday, most recently served as communications director for Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and previously held the same position at the Illinois Republican Party.
Trover joins NRSC Communications Director Brian Walsh and Press Secretary Jahan Wilcox in the press office. Chris Bond left his position as NRSC press secretary last month to join Rep. Denny Rehberg’s (R-Mont.) Senate campaign as communications director.
Smith’s Rapid Rise
Lis Smith, communications director at the Democratic Governors Association, is joining the Obama campaign as director of rapid response. Politico first reported the news.
Smith is a veteran of Democratic campaigns, previously working for Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Illinois Congressional candidate Dan Seals, Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe and former Govs. Ted Strickland of Ohio and Jon Corzine of New Jersey.
“No one was smarter or more effective than Lis, and she was the most fun out of anyone I’ve worked with,” DGA Executive Director Colm O’Comartun said in an email. He said to “stay tuned” for an announcement about the committee’s new communications director.