Maine Republican Party Chairman Richard Cebra resigned last week after six months on the job, surprising Pine Tree State Republicans.
Like several other Republican state parties across the country, the Maine GOP faces deep divisions between the old guard and tea party conservatives. The new chairman must balance these two factions and will be tasked with putting the party’s fundraising on track.
Former state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin has the inside track to be Cebra’s successor, but a source notes he is also mulling a run for the 2nd District. In 2012, Poliquin unsuccessfully ran for Senate and closely aligns himself to tea party groups.
“He’s probably a higher caliber figure than Maine has had in a GOP chair in the past,” the GOP source said.
The Other Maine Event
Another 2012 Republican Senate contender is returning to politics: Charlie Summers, a former Maine secretary of state and 2012 GOP Senate nominee, will chair state Rep. Alex Willette’s campaign for the competitive 2nd District.
This is a possibly open-seat race to replace Rep. Michael H. Michaud, who is exploring a gubernatorial bid. Summers lost to independent Sen. Angus King last year. Willette announced his candidacy last week.
Trippi Joins Primary Against Tierney
Retired Marine Seth Moulton launched a primary challenge this week against embattled Rep. John F. Tierney, D-Mass.
Moulton’s team includes Democratic consultant Joe Trippi as his senior adviser and Max Glass, a operative who worked for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard in 2012, as his campaign manager, according to The Boston Globe.
Also on board: Scott Ferson, Sean Sinclair and Carrie James Rankin of the Liberty Square Group’s Boston office. Ferson will be Moulton’s general consultant, Sinclair will be senior adviser, and Rankin will be communications director.
The 6th District is a reliable Democratic territory, but ongoing legal issues in Tierney’s family put his seat in play in 2012. Tierney’s GOP rival from 2012, former state Sen. Richard Tisei, is on track to challenge him again this cycle.
NRCC Hires Digital Press Secretary
Andrew Clark started this week as digital press secretary at the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Previously, Clark worked at Hynes Communications, where his portfolio included Gabriel Gomez’s special-election bid in Massachusetts.
The Atlas Project, a not-for-profit clearinghouse of election data for progressive campaigns, recently announced a slew of new hires:
• John Hagner, a former national field director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, as a senior strategist.
• Carolyn Fiddler , a former spokeswoman for the American Federation of Teachers, as political communications director.
• Heather Brown, a former chief of staff for Young Democrats of America, as program manager.
• Nathaniel Rakich, an alumnus of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s speechwriting office, as political analyst.
Feel the Byrne
GOP operative Alex Schriver signed on to be former Republican state Sen. Bradley Byrne’s campaign manager in the upcoming Alabama 1st District special election. Byrne is running to succeed Rep. Jo Bonner, who will resign later this year to take a post at the University of Alabama system.
Schriver is a former national chairman for the College Republican National Committee.
The Old College Try
The College Republican National Committee named its leadership team for 2014:
• Executive Director Matthew Donnellan.
• Political Director Gus Portela.
• Field Director Amanda Miller.
• Office Manager Greg Matz.
• Fundraising consultant is Lindsay Conrad of Conrad Consulting.
• General consultant is Gentry Collins at CAP Public Affairs. Collins is a former chairman of the Republican National Committee.
• Digital outreach is Zac Moffatt of Targeted Victory.
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Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.