Shop Talk: Chicago Shift

Posted March 10, 2010 at 4:37pm

Now that state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is the Democratic Senate nominee in Illinois, he’s brought on a new campaign manager and spokeswoman.

[IMGCAP(1)]Mike Rendina has taken the reins as campaign manager for the general election. Rendina comes directly from managing state Comptroller Dan Hynes’ gubernatorial primary campaign, which he narrowly lost to embattled Gov. Pat Quinn (D) in February.

Spokeswoman Kathleen Strand is now working full time for the campaign after serving as a senior adviser to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, where she worked on the Illinois race during the primary. A veteran of then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) presidential primary campaign, Strand served as her New Hampshire communications director and as a spokeswoman for her political action committee, HILLPAC.

According to Strand, outgoing campaign manager Tom Bowen is now serving in an advisory role to the campaign and also working on the Democrats’ statewide coordinated efforts.

The Mavericks Strike Again. Massachusetts state Treasurer Tim Cahill (I) has tapped a couple top advisers from Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) presidential bid to complement his bipartisan campaign team for his gubernatorial bid. Cahill announced that John Weaver and John Yob have joined his campaign, as well as Mike Dennehy and Mark Salter.

The four senior GOP strategists join Tad Devine, a veteran Democratic media consultant and senior strategist already on board with Cahill.

Merged Inc. GOP consulting firms Ryan Erwin and Associates and Casteel Inc. have merged to form Casteel, Erwin and Associates.

“As we continue to grow to serve the needs of our clients, the addition of Corbin Casteel and the Casteel, Inc. team brings a new, dynamic skill set to our company and our clients,” Erwin said in a statement.

Erwin is a former executive director of the state parties in Nevada and California. He also served as a senior adviser to former Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R) 2008 presidential campaign, according to a news release from the newly minted firm.

Corbin Casteel has served as finance director at the Republican Party of Texas and as a regional finance director for the Republican National Committee. He most recently ran Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams’ victorious re-election campaign in 2008, and he is advising Williams’ bid to succeed Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), if and when she resigns her seat.

Angela, We Have Heard on High. Former Fox News analyst Angela McGlowan, one of several Republicans vying to run against Rep. Travis Childers (D-Miss.), has installed her campaign team for her first bid for Congress.

McGlowan has hired Anne Marie Turner to run her campaign and Ginger Whitwell to run her finance team.

Sonny Scott of Rising Tide Media will be her media consultant.

Madden Moves. Veteran GOP spokesman and communications strategist Kevin Madden has joined Jim Dyke & Associates as a partner and vice president of public affairs. Madden is charged with opening the new Washington, D.C., office for the Charleston, S.C.-based firm.

Madden has most recently served as managing director at the Glover Park Group and will continue to work with that firm on joint projects.

Like a Wolfe. The ONE Campaign announced that Ginny Wolfe will serve as the communications director for the anti-poverty group, which often hires experienced political professionals to aid its operation.

A former senior aide and spokeswoman for then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), Wolfe was also communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the 2002 cycle. She most recently served as senior vice president of public affairs at Manning, Selvage and Lee.

Mick Makes His Picks. Sara Bonjean, a fundraising consultant for GR Seppala and Associates, is working with Mick Mulvaney (R), who is running against Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.). Mulvaney has also tapped Chris McClure as his campaign manager, Rex Elsass of the Strategy Group for Media as his media consultant and Rob Autry of Public Opinion Strategies as his pollster. Starboard Communications is serving as Mulvaney’s general consultant.

John McArdle contributed to this report.

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