Shop Talk: I, Carly

Posted October 28, 2009 at 6:08pm

Former Hewlett-Packard Co. CEO Carly Fiorina (R) has tapped Strategic Perception to do the media for her impending Senate campaign, according to sources familiar with the arrangement. Strategic Perception is one of the best-known GOP ad firms in the country for its work with GOP presidential candidates, including scripting ads for Sen. John McCain’s (Ariz.) bid in 2008.

[IMGCAP(1)]The firm’s head, Fred Davis, has a strong track record in statewide races in his home of California: Strategic Perception crafted advertisements for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) during his 2006 gubernatorial run. In the most recent cycle, Strategic Perception counted GOP Sens. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), James Inhofe (Okla.) and John Cornyn (Texas) on its client roster.

Fiorina is scheduled to announce whether she plans to challenge Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) on Nov. 6, but most Republicans expect her to get into the race. The National Republican Senatorial Committee recruited her to run for the seat, and polls show she could potentially be competitive.

Axiomatic. Republican consultant Jeff Roe of Axiom Strategies appears to have picked up a candidate in almost every competitive or open-seat race in Missouri and neighboring Kansas.

The Missouri-based Roe reports that he is doing general consulting and direct mail for three open-seat candidates, auctioneer Billy Long in Missouri’s 7th district, state Sen. Jim Barnett in Kansas’ 1st district and businessman Wink Hartman in Kansas’ 4th district.

The veteran GOP operative has also picked up a trio of challengers in targeted races across the country, including state Sen. Bill Stouffer, who is one of two GOP candidates running to take on longtime Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.); state Assemblyman Van Tran (R), who is running against Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.); and Iraq War veteran Allen West (R), who is seeking a rematch with Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.). Roe’s firm will provide general consulting and direct mail for Stouffer, direct mail for West and general consulting for Tran.

In addition to the new clients on his roster, Roe will continue to do direct mail and general consulting for Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and direct mail for Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.).

The Keystone to His Campaign. State Rep. Bryan Lentz (D) has tapped Vincent Rongione, a former top aide to Rep. Christopher Carney (D-Pa.), to be his campaign manager for the targeted open-seat House race in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Rongione served as deputy campaign manager for finance on Rep. Joe Sestak’s (D-Pa.) campaign team early in the 2006 cycle, then went on to finish the cycle as finance director for Carney. Rongione managed Carney’s 2008 re-election victory in the heavily Republican 10th district, then headed to Capitol Hill with the Congressman to serve as his director of communications and special projects.

Lentz is the only Democrat in the race in the 7th district, where Republicans lured former U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan away from the gubernatorial contest to run for the House, making the race to replace Sestak quite competitive in 2010.

Steering Away From Navigators. Veteran California GOP operative Rob Stutzman reports he is transitioning from the firm Navigators Global this month to open his own shop, Stutzman Public Affairs.

“This was not an easy decision to come to, as I have enjoyed my association with Navigators,— Stutzman wrote in an e-mail. “I will continue to be strongly affiliated with them and we will continue to serve clients together.—

Stutzman reports he is working on former eBay CEO Meg Whitman’s (R) gubernatorial bid in California and Rep. Dan Lungren’s (R-Calif.) re-election campaign this cycle. He is a former deputy chief of staff for communications to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and served as a senior California adviser to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R) 2008 presidential campaign.

What About the Chad? Attorney Chad McGowan (D) announced last week that he will challenge Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) in 2010, and his consultant team has already signed on the dotted line for his race.

Harrison Hickman of Global Strategy Group will provide polling for McGowan’s bid, according to campaign spokesman Tyler Jones.

Jim Andrews will be McGowan’s media consultant, Jennifer Swanson will serve as finance director, and direct mail will be provided by Morton Brilliant of the Strategy Group.

Hitching Her Wagner to Blunt. Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) announced that former Ambassador to Luxembourg Ann Wagner will serve as chairman for his Senate campaign.

Before serving as an ambassador, Wagner was co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee for two terms and chairwoman of the Missouri Republican Party for more than six years. According to the Blunt campaign, Wagner will have a “critical leadership role— in campaign operations and will help “the campaign effectively deliver Roy Blunt’s message of putting the people’s future first.—

Blunt and Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) are running in the open-seat race to succeed Sen. Kit Bond (R).

One, Two, Cha-Cha-Chas. Attorney John Chachas, one of the many Republicans seeking to challenge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), has tapped Ryan Erwin to be a senior advisor and general consultant to his campaign.

Erwin, the namesake of Ryan Erwin and Associates, was as a senior advisor to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R) presidential campaign. He also served as the executive director of the Nevada and California state parties, according to a release from the Chachas campaign.

Jan van Lohuizen of Voter Consumer Research is also on board with the Chachas campaign. The pollster for former President George W. Bush also counts Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) as clients.

Michael Toner, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, will serve as Chachas’ chief legal counsel. J.P. Miller will handle national fundraising, while Nicole Sarouphim will raise money in-state for Chachas.

Open Up That Golden Gate. The California Democratic Party has tapped Tenoch Flores as its new communications director.

Flores most recently worked as an account director for Fenton Communications. Flores has also served in media relations roles for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.

Flores is replacing current communications director Kate Folmar and is scheduled to start his new gig on Dec. 1.

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