Naples Goes National

Posted July 14, 2004 at 7:04pm

Naples Goes National. Erie County Comptroller Nancy Naples, the Republicans’ best hope for retaining the Buffalo-area House seat now held by retiring Rep. Jack Quinn (R-N.Y.), is beginning to put together her campaign team. She was in Washington, D.C., last week interviewing potential consultants.

Naples has hired Cameron Savage to serve as her campaign director. Savage served most recently as the communications director for the Indiana secretary of state’s office.

Ashley Jordan will serve as political action committee fundraiser.

Naples said she will use some of the Western New York Republican consultants she has used for her three countywide victories in an advisory capacity this time. The list includes pollster Barry Zeplowitz and media man Jack Cookfair.

But Naples is also seeking more connected political veterans to guide her effort.

“I’m looking for more national” talent, she said.

Tim Turns to Tim. Tim Michels, one of the three principal candidates vying for the Republican Senate nomination in Wisconsin, has hired Tim Roby, a veteran of several political and policy shops in the upper Midwest, to serve as communications director for his campaign.

Roby was communications director for former Wisconsin Gov. Scott McCallum (R), and was a senior communications and policy adviser to former Michigan Gov. John Engler (R). And he served as communications and policy director to former North Dakota Gov. Ed Schafer.

Prior to his service in state government, Roby was a print journalist in North Dakota, Montana and Florida.

Michels, a businessman making his first run for office, is hoping to challenge two-term Sen. Russ Feingold (D) in November.

“Tim Michels has the energy, the resources, the right background and the right message to beat Russ Feingold and give Wisconsin a voice in Washington,” Roby said.

Two Campaign Managers Move On. Taunton Melville, manager for economic development official Charmaine Caccioppi’s bid for the House seat being vacated by Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.), is leaving the campaign, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Melville,

nephew of former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, a Democrat turned Republican, will take a job with the Senate campaign of state Treasurer John Kennedy (D).

Caccioppi, a Democrat, is one of five candidates seeking to replace Tauzin in the suburban New Orleans district. The field includes the Congressman’s son, BellSouth lobbyist Billy Tauzin III.

Meanwhile, 1,500 miles away, Vermont businessman Jack McMullen, the leading Republican in the race to take on Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), has also lost his campaign manager.

McMullen reported that Greg Hahn was forced to return to his home in New Hampshire to help his pregnant wife care for a sick infant and two other small children.

When a Candidate Moves On … The campaign managers also get moving. Scott Armstrong, who was serving as campaign manager to New York Assemblyman Brian Kolb (R) in Kolb’s bid for the 29th district House seat, has returned to his Syracuse-based communications and lobbying firm now that Kolb has dropped out of the race.

“It would have been a great fight,” said Armstrong, president of Armstrong Communications Inc.

Make a WISH. Two moderate former governors have joined the WISH List — Women in the Senate and House, a fundraising network for mainstream Republican women — in an advisory capacity.

Ex-Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift (R) has joined the WISH List board of directors. And former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman (R), who left her post as Environmental Protection Agency administrator last year, will serve on the organization’s honorary advisory board.

Changing Consultants in Midstream. The Political Pulse, a newsletter on California politics, is reporting that state Assembly Democrats have replaced one seasoned political hand with another.

New Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez has named Gale Kaufman the lead consultant for the Democratic caucus. Kaufman, a one-time top aide to the legendary former Speaker Willie Brown (D), takes over for Darry Sragow, who has been lead consultant for the Assembly Democrats for the past eight years.

Sragow came to the job during a brief period in the mid-1990s when Democrats had lost the majority in the Assembly. Working with Brown’s successor, Richard Katz, he devised a system for targeting Assembly races that quickly put the Democrats back in command in Sacramento.

Sragow never managed individual legislative races, however, enabling him to take a “big picture” approach to the legislative map, while Kaufman, Nuñez’s personal consultant, has clients in competitive legislative races.

Both Kaufman and Sragow remain among the Golden State’s most valued Democratic consultants.