Just two weeks after longtime Rep. Henry A. Waxman announced his retirement, at least one campaign is moving quickly to build a campaign infrastructure to win the California Democrat’s seat.
Former Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel has assembled a team that includes a few operatives from Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.
President Bill Clinton campaigned on Greuel’s behalf during her unsuccessful 2013 bid for Los Angeles mayor. Greuel had worked in the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Clinton administration.
Greuel’s team includes:
Campaign manager: Michael Trujillo. Trujillo is currently a senior adviser for the super PAC Ready for Hillary, which is not coordinating with the former secretary of State. During the 2008 presidential primaries, Trujillo was Hillary Rodham Clinton’s statewide field director in California, North Carolina and Texas.
Direct mail/media consultants: Ace Smith and Sean Clegg of SCN Strategies. A political operative for former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Smith was Clinton’s state director in California, Texas and North Carolina in 2008. Also a former Villaraigosa hand, Clegg worked on the campaigns of former California Gov. Gray Davis, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and former Rep. Richard Gephardt, D-Mo.
Pollster: Amy Levin of Benenson Strategy Group. Levin, who is not a former Clinton aide, previously worked as David Axelrod’s chief of staff and is a veteran of President Barack Obama’s campaigns.
The field to replace Waxman is still fluid, but for now, Greuel, Democratic state Sen. Ted Lieu and Los Angeles deputy district attorney Elan S. Carr, a Republican, are the most organized contenders. The California filing deadline is March 7, and the top-two primary is June 3.
“Mr. Dempsey is no longer the executive director, and it is a personnel matter,” state party attorney David Harris said in a phone interview with CQ Roll Call.
Prior to his time there, Dempsey worked for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and managed California Rep. Scott Peters’ highly competitive 2012 campaign, in which he knocked out a Republican incumbent.
Amid this turnover, there is much at stake for this state committee. Sen. Kay Hagan is in a dogfight of a race to hold onto her seat. Senate Democrats are leaning heavily on coordination with a handful of state parties, including the North Carolina Democratic Party, to help keep control of the Senate.
Hill Republican Heads to Florida
Republican Greg Blair recently left one Scott for another. Last week, Blair exited his position as South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott’s press secretary to begin work Monday as deputy communications director on Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s re-election campaign.
“I’ve been honored to work for Senator Scott’s team and I’m looking forward to seeing the great things he’ll do in the future,” Blair wrote in an email to his contacts. “At the same time, this next chapter will be an exciting one full of interesting challenges and new friends and I’m eager to get started.”
Blair is a former National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman.
Young Guns’ New Hired Gun
Hill Republican operative Stacey Johnson recently became chief of staff of the YG Network, a nonprofit with the mission of “promoting next-generation conservative policies.”
Most recently, Johnson was Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen’s deputy chief of staff. Previously, she was Paulsen’s campaign spokeswoman, former Virginia Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell’s press secretary, and an operative for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.
Arkoosh Hires Field Director
University of Pennsylvania medical professor Val Arkoosh recently hired Pennsylvania Democratic operative David Madsen as her field director.
Arkoosh is in a crowded Democratic primary to replace Democratic Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz, who is running for Pennsylvania governor. Former Rep. Marjorie Margolies, D-Pa., state Sen. Daylin Leach and state Rep. Brendan Boyle are also running for the seat.
“Dr. Arkoosh is in the unique position to reach the most voters in this race,” Madsen said in a news release. “I’m looking forward to running a robust field and outreach campaign that shows every voter why Dr. Arkoosh is the right candidate to represent the Pennsylvania 13th.”
Emily Cahn contributed to this report. Please send news of developments in the political industry to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow us on Twitter @RCShopTalk.
Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, holds his hand over his heart during the singing of the national anthem as he waits to take the stage for his town hall campaign rally with Sen. John McCain at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.