Democratic Super PAC Brings Back Old Hand
House Majority PAC, a super PAC dedicated to electing Democrats to the House, announced Monday that operative Jarrod Backous will return to the organization as a senior political desk.
In this position, he will manage the super PAC’s independent expenditures.
During the 2012 cycle, Backous “managed nearly $18 million” in expenditures, per a release shared first with CQ Roll Call. Since leaving House Majority PAC at the end of that cycle, Backous was a campaign services director at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
“Jarrod has the smarts and strategic insight to serve House Majority PAC well as we hold Republicans accountable and take on GOP outside groups in competitive Congressional districts,” House Majority PAC Executive Director Alixandria Lapp said in a statement.
Washington State Dems Pick Chairman
Over the weekend, Washington Democrats elected Jaxon Ravens as their new state party chairman.
Prior to the election, Ravens was the state party executive director. Ravens’ top rival for the position was Dana Laurent, the executive director of a nonprofit called the Win/Win Network, who had the backing of Gov. Jay Inslee.
Ravens succeeds outgoing Chairman Dwight Pelz, who announced in October his intention to step down.
PAC Targets Secretaries of State
Former Obama campaign operative Jeremy Bird launched a new political action committee last week called iVote. The group’s mission is to elect Democratic secretaries of state in battleground states across the country.
The aim is to put into office candidates “who will protect every American’s access to voting,” according to a release.
Secretaries of state often oversee a state’s voting implementation. In 2014, iVote will target Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and Ohio — all states with Republican secretaries of state.
“It’s time to fight back,” Bird said in an interview with CQ Roll Call last week. Bird argued that Republicans are targeting secretary of state races in an attempt to make it more difficult for traditionally Democratic constituencies to vote.
“Instead of standing back, we want to push back and be on the offense,” Bird said.
Doug Sosnik, Frank Smith, Ellen Kurz, Michael Blake, Rachael Cobb, Ralph Paige, Wendy Smith, Pete Giangreco and Bird will serve on iVote’s board of directors. Advising the PAC are Bird’s firm 270 Strategies, media firm AKPD, David Binder Research and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.
RNC Makes Another Digital Hire
The Republican National Committee recently hired Azarias Reda as its new chief data officer. A former LinkedIn staffer, Reda will be “responsible for the collection and enhancement of the party’s data,” according to a release.
New Jersey GOP Chairman Stays On
Amid the ongoing turmoil in New Jersey Republican politics, state GOP Chairman Sam Raia will continue on as the state party leader.
Raia announced his intent to leave the party in January. Republican Gov. Chris Christie subsequently designated his former campaign manager Bill Stepien as Raia’s would-be successor. Days later, Stepien became engulfed in the George Washington Bridge scandal and Christie ordered him to withdraw his name from consideration as chairman.
N.H. Senate Hopeful Staffs Up
Former New Hampshire state Sen. Jim Rubens recently announced that a pair of political operatives joined his Granite State Senate campaign. Rubens is running for the Republican nod to face off against Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in the fall.
Rubens’ new political director is Brennan Ward, a New Hampshire native who worked on Mitt Romney’s 2012 New Hampshire effort. Rubens also hired Deirdre Carson, a former National Republican Senatorial Committee staffer, as a field staffer. She is a veteran of Bill Binnie’s 2010 Senate campaign.
Resolute Hires New VP in Boston
Resolute Consulting, a public affairs and communications firm, recently hired Kristin Phelan as vice president. Along with fellow vice president James Chisholm, she will run the firm’s New England office in Boston. Prior to joining Resolute, Phelan was a marketing director at Faneuil Hall Marketplace.
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