Homecoming

Posted September 19, 2007 at 6:45pm

Danny Diaz is set to take over for Lisa Miller as communications director of the Republican National Committee, a Republican source confirmed Wednesday. [IMGCAP(1)]

Diaz, who worked for Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) presidential campaign until a major staff shake-up earlier this year, spent the previous cycle at the RNC as a deputy to then-Communications Director Brian Jones.

Miller is leaving the RNC at the end of September to join the National Community Pharmacists Association as vice president of public affairs.

Mike’s Mavens. Mike Ciresi (D), the trial lawyer who is competing with comedian Al Franken (D) for the right to take on Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) next year, has begun to assemble his campaign team.

Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners is the candidate’s pollster. Jim Margolis, senior partner at GMMB, is the media consultant. Kerry Greeley is the campaign director.

Greeley worked in the previous cycle as campaign manager to now-Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), who ousted a Republican incumbent in a swing district. Lake has worked several races in Minnesota, including Walz’s. Margolis goes back with Ciresi to his unsuccessful 2000 campaign for the Democratic Senate nomination.

Bob’s Band. Former Rep. Bob Schaffer (R), running to succeed retiring Sen. Wayne Allard (R) in Colorado, is in the process of hiring a media strategist, with a general consultant and fundraiser already on board.

Walt Klein, who is based in Denver, is Schaffer’s general consultant. David Hill, of The Woodlands, Texas-based Hill Research Consultants, has been hired as his pollster. Janel Domenico is Schaffer’s finance director.

Domenico has raised money for Allard, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.), all of whom previously employed Colorado Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams as a campaign aide.

Schaffer ran for the GOP Senate nomination in 2004 but lost to beer magnate Pete Coors.

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way. Will Shafroth (D), an environmental activist hoping to succeed Rep. Mark Udall (D) in Colorado’s 2nd district, has hired Democratic pollster Dave Beattie to handle polling for his campaign.

Beattie is president of Hamilton Beattie & Staff, a Democratic polling and consulting firm with offices in Fernandina Beach, Fla., and Washington, D.C.

Shafroth, who faces state Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald and wealthy Democratic activist Jared Polis in the primary, is still on the lookout for a media consultant.

The Peanuts Gang. Democrat Charlie Brown, hoping to oust Rep. John Doolittle (R) in California’s conservative 4th district, has assembled a campaign team for his second attempt at ousting the ethically challenged incumbent.

Consultants Eric Jaye and Theo Yedinsky, of San Francisco-based Storefront Political Media, are serving as Brown’s general, media and direct-mail consultants.

Pete Brodnitz, of the Democratic firm Benenson Strategy Group, is handling Brown’s polling. BSG has offices in New York and Washington.

Andrew Fields, an in-house campaign employee based in the 4th district, is serving as Brown’s finance director.

Todd Stenhouse, meanwhile, has reprised his role as Brown’s campaign manager and communications director for the Democratic candidate’s second go-round.

Although the suburban Sacramento 4th district is solid Republican territory, many observers of the race are predicting Brown could win if Doolittle is the GOP nominee — he lost to the Republican by just 3 points in 2006. Doolittle has said he intends to run for re-election, but he is likely to face a serious primary challenge and is far from a shoo-in to win that contest.

Meet the New Boss. Laura Sanchez was recently named executive director of the New Mexico Democratic Party by Chairman Brian Colón. She should have her hands full this cycle with Democratic plans to target Rep. Heather Wilson (R) and Sen. Pete Domenici (R).

Sanchez previously served as an energy solutions policy fellow for the Natural Resources Defense Council. She is an attorney who worked as a state Senate majority analyst assigned to the Judiciary Committee in the 2007 session.

Sanchez has practiced in public finance and commercial real estate transactions in Albuquerque since 2004.

During the 2006 cycle, she ran the get-out-the-vote operation for a statewide initiative for the Narragansett Indian tribe of Rhode Island.

Josh Kurtz contributed to this report.

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