Firm With a Built-in Client?

Posted September 12, 2007 at 6:32pm

Stevens Reed Curcio and Potholm, a Washington, D.C.-based Republican media firm, announced Wednesday that John Hishta and Ben Burger had been named partners.

In hiring Hishta, SRCP could be positioning itself to have a hand in the 2008 Virginia Senate race, which could be one of the cycle’s most high-profile contests. [IMGCAP(1)]

Hishta is a former aide to Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), who is expected to run for the seat being vacated by Sen. John Warner (R-Va.). Hishta, who remains one of Davis’ top political advisers, managed Warner’s successful 1996 re-election bid and served as executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee in the 2000 and 2002 cycles, when Davis chaired the committee.

Burger, currently a senior vice president at SRCP, has advised several winning Congressional campaigns, including that of now-Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.); Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.); Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.) and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.).

Burger’s independent expenditure clients include the American Medical Association, the NRCC and several state parties across the country. Before joining SRCP in 1995, Burger served as deputy political director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Miller’s Crossing. Lisa Miller is leaving her post as the Republican National Committee communications director effective at month’s end to join the National Community Pharmacists Association as vice president of public affairs.

The RNC has not yet announced who will replace her.

Before joining the RNC at the beginning of this cycle, Miller worked for then-Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.).

Not a Bittner Hire. Emily Bittner was recently hired as the communications director of the Arizona Democratic Party.

Bittner comes to the state party from Critical Public Relations, a firm whose parent company is owned by Ron Ober, who worked for former Sen. Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz.).

Before going to work for Critical Public Relations, Bittner spent four years as a reporter at The Arizona Republic, the state’s largest newspaper. In that capacity she covered breaking news and public safety.

The Third Dimension. Jim Terry, formerly executive director of the now-defunct Free Enterprise Fund, has set up a consulting shop called Third Dimension Strategies. The Republican’s new firm, based in Washington, offers full service political consulting, communications consulting and grass-roots and Internet advocacy services.

“Whether our clients are running for office or trying to drive a legislative issue, the bottom line is that success depends upon the ability to effectively deliver a message and motivate people to take action,” Terry said in an interview.

California Here I Come. Several Republican political professionals, including NRCC Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.) and RNC Chairman Mike Duncan, are scheduled to travel to San Diego next week to discuss how the GOP can be successful in the West amid the region’s changing demographics.

The Western States Leadership Congress, which will feature a keynote speech by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), also will include remarks from Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), who is running for president, as well as GOP consultants Frank Luntz, Rich Galen, Anne Dunsmore and Steve Kinney.

Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (R), who lost a Senate bid in 2006 and now heads the Republican group GOPAC, also is scheduled to speak at the conference.

Maryland Democrats Take a Gamble. Quincey Gamble has been named executive director of the Maryland Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, Mark Shenton has been hired to run the party’s advanced voter file technology and to assist Democratic campaigns in Maryland with their voter contact and volunteer management operations.

Gamble joins the party after working as the regional political director for the Maryland/Washington, D.C. division of the Service Employees International Union Local 1199. Shenton recently retired after 20 years as an IT manager at a telecommunications firm.

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