Shop Talk: Somethin’ Special

Posted January 20, 2010 at 6:48pm

A victory for Sen.-elect Scott Brown’s (R-Mass.) campaign was also a victory for Mitt Romney’s team, and the consulting group’s stock has risen as a result.

[IMGCAP(1)]The Massachusetts operatives from the Shawmut Group who guided the former Massachusetts governor’s bid for president in 2008 were also behind Brown’s come-from-behind special election victory this week. Romney is considered a likely White House contender in 2012.

The Shawmut Group was responsible for general consulting and media for Brown’s campaign, while survey giant Neil Newhouse of Public Opinion Strategies performed polling on behalf of the campaign and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

“In a very short period of time, the Brown campaign shifted from a sleepy Massachusetts campaign to a national campaign and did it with relative ease due in large part to the circle of folks around him,— said Joe Wall, a former Romney aide. “A marathon presidential campaign prepares you for just about everything, and their pedigree was a tremendous asset to a candidate that was largely unknown outside of Wrenthem, Mass., a mere couple weeks ago.—

The GOP consulting group includes former Romney campaign manager and gubernatorial chief of staff Beth Myers, Romney communications director Eric Fehrnstrom and former Romney deputy campaign manager Peter Flaherty. All three principals at the firm continue to work with Romney at his Free and Strong America Political Action Committee.

In a blog post about the Brown victory, Newhouse also hailed the consulting team and the NRSC’s efforts.

“For a state so bereft of GOP officeholders, it’s a gold mine of political talent,— Newhouse wrote. “It was a seamless and self-less effort made possible by the NRSC and Mitt Romney’s on-the-ground team that made the difference here.—

In addition to Brown, the Shawmut Group also advises George Demos’ (R) bid in New York’s 1st district against Rep. Tim Bishop (D), state House Minority Whip John Loughlin’s (R) bid against Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) and former Rep. Rick Lazio’s (R) gubernatorial bid in New York. The group worked with businessman Tom Foley (R) on his bid for Senate in Connecticut until November, when the Republican shifted races to run for governor instead.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee used Mark Mellman of the Mellman Group for polling and Saul Shorr for media.

State Attorney General Martha Coakley (D), who was expected to win the Massachusetts seat in a landslide until the past few weeks, used 4C Partners for national fundraising, GMMB for media and Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners to do her polling for the race.

EMILY’s List closely advised Coakley’s campaign through its longtime contracted consultant in New England, Chris Esposito of Dover Strategy Group Inc. EMILY’s List also used Laguens Kully Klose Partners for an independent expenditure radio spot aimed at female voters.

Heave, Hoeven. Sen. Byron Dorgan’s (D) surprising announcement this month that he would retire this year left the door open for Republicans to nab his seat in the GOP stronghold of North Dakota. Within two weeks of the announcement, Gov. John Hoeven (R) got in the race and became the heavy favorite to win Dorgan’s seat — and he signed a top-notch consulting team to help him with his bid.

Hoeven has tapped one of his longtime aides, Don Larson, to be his campaign manager.

Wilson Grand Communications will do media for Hoeven, while Jim McCray will do national fundraising and Bellwether Consulting Group will do political action committee fundraising.

Also, according to Larson, Chris Gober will serve as legal counsel.

Elizabethan Era. In a crowded field of Republicans looking to take on Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.), at least two — both of whom are considered frontrunners — have their consulting teams in place.

Elizabeth Emken, former vice president of Autism Speaks, has tapped veteran Pennsylvania operative Vince Galko to be her senior adviser for her first Congressional race. Emken has hired Craig Snyder of IKON Public Affairs to be her general consultant, fellow Pennsylvania media guru Chris Mottola to do her media, Tony Fabrizio to do polling, Mindy Finn of Engage to do online strategy and Andrew Theodore for national fundraising.

Businessman Brad Goehring, another frontrunner in the GOP primary, has tapped David Creager to be his campaign manager and Carl Fogliani to serve as general consultant. Fogliani’s firm and Jim Battin of Voter Strategies Inc. will handle Goehring’s media, while Chariot will do his polling.

Danger, Robinson. Scott Robinson, the Democrat running in Virginia’s 1st district against Rep. Rob Wittman (R), has hired Greg Richardson to be his campaign manager. Richardson served in the same role for Paul Carmouche’s bid in the 2008 open-seat race that now-Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) eventually won, as well as Will Pryor’s bid against Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) in 2006.

Additionally, Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners will do polling for Robinson, Jon Anderson of Mad Dog Mail will do his mail, LA Harris of LA Harris & Associates will do his national finance and Daren Berringer of 3D Political will do media and online strategy.

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