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Shop Talk: Celebrating Campaign Women

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Melissa Sellers (right), who has served as communications director for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (center), is joining Florida Gov. Rick Scott's office.

President Barack Obama's campaign is hosting a fundraising reception Thursday in Chicago to honor the campaign's women in leadership positions.

Ann Liston and Maia Johnson are hosting the event at a Wicker Park home, according to an invitation. Tickets are $100 for guests and $500 to be placed on the host committee.

Those being honored include deputy campaign managers Stephanie Cutter, Jen O'Malley Dillon and Julianna Smoot, Chief Operating Officer Ann Marie Habershaw, National Political Director Katherine Archuleta, National Operation Vote Director Buffy Wicks, Deputy National Finance Director Liz Lowery and Research Director Elizabeth Jarvis-Shean.

Great Scott

Florida Gov. Rick Scott's (R) office announced last week that the governor's longtime aide, Brian Burgess, was leaving his position as communications director to lead the press office at the Florida Republican Party.

Burgess worked for Scott in various communications roles since January 2009, when Burgess was a consultant at CRC Public Relations, the firm that led the media strategy for Scott's group Conservatives for Patients' Rights and later worked with Scott's gubernatorial campaign.

"From the very beginning, Brian has been by my side as a strategic and political adviser, a trusted aide, and loyal member of my team," Scott said in a statement. "His strong work ethic, strategic advice and leadership will be missed inside the administration, but he isn't going far. In his new role, he will continue to help tell the story to Floridians and the nation about what we're accomplishing every day."

Burgess is being replaced by Melissa Sellers, who most recently served as director of regional media for the Republican National Convention. Sellers was previously communications director for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) during his 2007 campaign and his first term in office.

Bringing the Payne

Mississippi Republican Party Chairman Joe Nosef recently announced hiring Brandon Payne as executive director.

Payne, a former Biloxi police officer, is president of the Harrison County Republican Club and member of the county party's executive committee. He most recently worked as the southern district field representative for Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and has held various volunteer positions with numerous statewide and local political campaigns.

"Brandon has played a key role in my office," Wicker said in a statement. "I know he will be a great benefit to the Mississippi Republican Party. He is tireless, bringing experience and knowledge that will help our Party this fall and in the years ahead."

Partnering Up

NGP VAN, the leading technology provider for Democratic candidates nationwide, is partnering with CallFire, a voice and text communication firm, as its leading provider of cloud broadcast voice and interactive voice response services.

"At this critical juncture for every campaign, when money is tight and every vote matters, the services we provide through our partnership with CallFire provide an affordable way for candidates and campaigns to connect with volunteers and voters," NGP VAN CEO Stuart Trevelyan said in a statement.

According to a release, campaign staff and volunteers using NGP VAN's VoteBuilder platform to access a voter file could select "RoboCall Using CallFire" and "RoboSurvey Using CallFire" to identify voters and collect polling and other information without leaving the VoteBuilder platform. Among NGP VAN's clients are President Barack Obama's re-election campaign.

"This partnership is a game-changer because it puts the same telephony tools available to the Obama campaign into the hands of thousands of other national, state and local campaigns," CallFire CEO Dinesh Ravishanker said in a statement.

On to November

With his Member-vs.-Member primary far behind him, New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell (D) announced the campaign team that he hopes will lead him to victory in November.

David Parano, a longtime Bergen County operative, is taking over as campaign manager after serving as field director for Pascrell during the primary against Rep. Steven Rothman (D).

Pascrell's consulting team includes Murphy Vogel Askew Reilly for media, Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group for polling, Ray Ferraioli for fundraising and Tom Erickson for Washington, D.C.-based fundraising.

The rest of his campaign team includes Pascrell's son, Bill Pascrell III, as campaign chairman, former Pascrell Chief of Staff Ed Farmer as political director, Ryan Yacco as field director, Bernadette McPherson as outreach and operations director, Sean Darcy assisting with message and media development, Keith Furlong as spokesman, Jacqueline Grindrod as finance director and Al Spivey for get-out-the-vote efforts.

Submit campaign staffing news and tips to Shop Talk here.

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