The National Republican Senatorial Committee announced its senior staff Tuesday, rounding out an overhaul of leadership for the new cycle as the party aims to win the majority in 2014.
Serving under NRSC Chairman Jerry Moran of Kansas and NRSC Executive Director Rob Collins, who was hired in December, are an array of operatives with both campaign and Capitol Hill experience.
Brad Dayspring, a former top aide to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., is taking over as communications director. Dayspring replaces Brian Walsh, who served at the NRSC during the past two cycles and has helped out during the transition. Walsh is in the process of opening his own consulting firm.
"Senate Republicans are already on offense in a range of key races across the country and our experienced team at the NRSC stands ready to help our Party capitalize on those opportunities," Moran said in a statement.
The details of the new senior staff hires are:
- Ward Baker, political director: Baker is a veteran campaign operative with stints at Majority Strategies, the Republican State Leadership Committee and in 2012 as a liaison between the Mitt Romney presidential campaign and the Republican National Committee. He also has experience running state Victory programs and independent expenditure operations.
- Shelly Carson, finance director: Carson has a decade of national fundraising experience, including work for the RNC, Romney's 2008 presidential campaign and former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint's 2004 campaign. Carson has run her own Dallas-based fundraising firm for the last several years.
- Dayspring, communications director: Dayspring is well-known on Capitol Hill from his time in the office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., which he left last cycle to serve as senior adviser to the conservative super PAC YG Action Fund. Dayspring also handled communications for the Republican Study Committee and other members of Congress, and worked for nearly three years in the White House press shop.
- Kevin McLaughlin, senior adviser: McLaughlin will provide strategy and help manage messaging for all GOP Senate campaigns. He currently runs North Star LLC, a boutique communications consulting firm that worked on four Senate campaigns in 2012, and is a former communications director for Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the former NRSC chairman.
- Mark McLaughlin, research director: This McLaughlin has worked his way up at the NRSC for the past two cycles, serving as deputy research director in 2012 and as a research analyst in 2010. The Massachusetts native worked in the communications shop on Romney's 2008 campaign.
- Megan Sowards, general counsel: Sowards, a former attorney at Patton Boggs, served as deputy general counsel on Romney's 2012 campaign. She began her career in the Senate as a speech writer and press secretary before moving on to serve as a speech writer at the State Department.