A Republican Reid

Posted January 30, 2008 at 6:31pm

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) is expanding his political team. And perhaps not surprisingly, he’s adding a fundraiser.

[IMGCAP(1)]Ashlee Reid, a former regional finance director for the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and the finance director for numerous Congressional campaigns, has been hired as the chief fundraiser for Friends of John Boehner, the Minority Leader’s personal campaign committee.

Friends of John Boehner will have the arduous task this cycle of working to take back the House for the GOP, with plans to aid the campaigns of Republican incumbents and challengers.

Because Boehner runs his political operation through his personal campaign account, he is free to donate the money he collects in whatever amount he sees fit to the National Republican Congressional Committee, which has been substantially outraised this cycle by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Tinsley-Town. Wealthy businessman Ed Tinsley, running for the House seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), has unveiled his campaign team.

Grant Hewitt is serving as campaign manager; Heidi Fuller is serving as finance director; Nicole McCleskey is serving as the campaign’s lead political consultant; and Cecelia Levatino is serving as the western region field director.

Hewitt most recently served as deputy campaign manager for then-Rep. Jim Gibbons’ (R-Nev.) successful 2006 gubernatorial bid. Fuller, of F/L Consulting, has raised money for retiring Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) for the last 11 years.

McCleskey is a veteran of several campaigns in the Land of Enchantment, and is a partner with Washington, D.C.-based polling firm Public Opinion Strategies. Levatino most recently served as vice chairwoman of the New Mexico Republican Party.

Tinsley is running in a crowded GOP primary for the Republican-leaning southern New Mexico 2nd district, which opened when Pearce decided to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Domenici.

Hunting the Hunter Seat. Businessman and Republican activist Bob Watkins, hoping to replace retiring Rep. Duncan Hunter (R) in California’s solidly GOP 52nd district, has begun filling out his campaign team.

Tim Clark, a Sacramento-based Republican consultant and partner at Johnson Clark Associates, is directing Watkins’ effort, while the San Diego-based GOP fundraiser Mary England is handling his fundraising.

Also, Tom Hammond of the D.C.-based Hammond & Associates, is handling Watkins’ national fundraising.

Watkins is running in a crowded Republican primary that includes Hunter’s son, Duncan D. Hunter.

What a Pipkin. Maryland state Sen. E.J. Pipkin, one of two Republicans hoping to oust Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-Md.) in the Feb. 12 GOP primary, is relying on a consultant team that includes Boyd Marcus of Marcus & Allen as general consultant, John McLaughlin of McLaughlin Associates as pollster and Pat McCarthy of Designated Market Media as the media consultant.

The third candidate in the increasingly bitter race is another state Senator, Andy Harris (R).

You Know Him From Adam. Adam Blickstein is the new press secretary for the National Security Network, a left-of-center organization that focuses on national security and military policies.

Prior to joining the National Security Network, Blickstein served as press secretary for Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.).

CDP, Online. The California Democratic Party has hired Matt Lockshin and Penny Denenberg as co-directors for online organizing.

Lockshin and Denenberg are veterans of several campaigns in the Golden State, including the 2006 11th district House race. In that contest, they each worked with activist groups to help oust then-House Resources Chairman Richard Pombo (R) and elect Rep. Jerry McNerney (D).

Moon Over Houston. Amber Moon is leaving her position as communications director of the Texas Democratic Party to direct the party’s strategic communications effort in Harris County.

A large chunk of Harris County is included in the Houston-area 22nd district, which is expected to be heavily contested this fall by Democrats and Republicans. Rep. Nick Lampson (D) is running for re-election in the solidly Republican district, and the GOP has been clear that flipping the district is a top priority.

Hector Nieto will be taking over for Moon as communications director of the Texas Democratic Party, which is based in Austin.