Kerry Reaches Out

Posted April 28, 2004 at 6:39pm

In its effort to engage key Democratic constituencies, Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) presidential campaign recently added several new faces to both its leadership and community outreach teams. Many are veterans of his vanquished Democratic rivals’ presidential campaigns.

New campaign CEO Karen Hancox, now on her fifth presidential campaign, comes to the Kerry team after serving most recently as Rep. Richard Gephardt’s (D-Mo.) deputy campaign manager.

Broderick Johnson, who was both deputy assistant to the president for legislative affairs and House liaison during the Clinton administration, joins as senior adviser for Congressional affairs. 

Longtime Democratic strategist Paul Rivera, who previously worked on the campaigns of both Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and unsuccessful New York gubernatorial candidate Carl McCall (D), will serve as senior political adviser, charged with overseeing both community outreach and regional and state political programs.

New Director of Community Outreach Mona Pasquil most recently served a

stint as then-California Gov. Gray Davis’ (D) political director.

Clinton White House alumna Jena Roscoe, currently senior vice president and chief of government affairs for Operation HOPE Inc., will be charged with outreach to the black community. Luis Elizondo-Thomson will handle Hispanic outreach efforts. 

Jay Footlik, who formerly directed community outreach for Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (D-Conn.) presidential campaign, will work with the Jewish community as senior adviser on Middle East and Jewish Affairs.  

Fresh from the presidential campaign of former NATO commander Gen. Wesley Clark, where he served as Armenian-American liaison and Michigan field director, George Kivork will coordinate outreach to several ethnicities, including Arab Americans, Irish Americans, Italian Americans and Portuguese Americans. And Victoria Lai, formerly of the Democratic National Committee, takes on Asian Pacific Islander American issues for the campaign. 

Meanwhile, Kerry has also hired a variety of new outreach personnel for key issue-oriented constituencies.

Kerry’s former National Director of Volunteer Operations Chad Lennox now has responsibility for the environmental community; Mike Seifert, previously of the Clark campaign, takes over outreach to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community; and Tory Vallely, a veteran of the Iowa caucuses and South Carolina primary, becomes the point-person on women’s issues.

The faith-based community will be handled by former Deanite Mara Vanderslice who takes on religious outreach.

And finally, Sharon Farmer, a former Clinton White House photographer, assumes the all-important role of campaign shutterbug.

New Pew Entity. The Pew Charitable Trusts, the research and philanthropic foundation that formally became a public charity at the beginning of this year, announced this week that it is establishing a new subsidiary in Washington, D.C., to house all the information projects it supports.

The new entity, the Pew Research Center, will be the umbrella organization for seven Pew projects: The Pew Center for the People and the Press, led by Andrew Kohut; the Project for Excellence in Journalism, led by Tom Rosenstiel; Stateline.org, led by Ed Fouhy and Gene Gibbons; the Pew Internet & American Life Project, led by Lee Rainie; the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, led by Luis Lugo; the Pew Hispanic Center, led by Roberto Suro; and the Pew Global Attitudes Project, led by Kohut.

The projects, which are currently dispersed throughout D.C., are expected to move into a common office space by December.

Dean’s List. Tom McMahon, former deputy campaign manager for Howard Dean’s (D) presidential campaign, has been named executive director of Dean’s new grassroots political entity, Democracy for America.

McMahon worked in the White House for then-Vice President Al Gore and also worked at the Pentagon and for the U.S. Information Agency.

From Washington to Washington. Alex Glass, who has served as press secretary for Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on Capitol Hill, is moving to the other Washington for a similar job, working for Murray’s re-election campaign.

That means there will be plenty of battles of the Alexes in the media coverage of the Washington state Senate race. Murray faces a tough battle for a third term against Rep. George Nethercutt (R-Wash.), whose campaign spokesman is also named Alex — Alex Conant.

Mike Spahn is slated to take Glass’ place on the Hill.

On, Wisconsin. Russ Darrow, the auto dealership owner who is seeking the Republican Senate nomination in Wisconsin, has hired a new press secretary.

Fresh off his stint working for unsuccessful Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke in Clarke’s unsuccessful bid for mayor of Milwaukee, Matt Lambert, a former journalist and son of a New Orleans city councilman, takes the job with Darrow.

Oklahoma City Beachhead. Former Rep. Tom Coburn (R), who is seeking the Republican Senate nomination in Oklahoma, has opened a campaign office in Oklahoma City.

Coburn, who represented an eastern Oklahoma district in Congress, is hoping to blunt former Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys’ advantage in the state’s largest city.

Greg Treat, a former aide to Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin (R) who has also worked for the state House Republican caucus, will serve as director of operations for Coburn’s Oklahoma City office.