Democratic National Committee Promotes 4 Women
Democratic National Committee CEO Amy Dacey announced four internal promotions on Monday.
Maureen Garde is the new deputy political director of State Party Programs and counselor to the CEO. Previously, she was the national deputy political director.
Regena Thomas will take on the position of director of community engagement, along with her current role as political department senior adviser.
Kate Yglesias Houghton leaves her job as deputy director of the chairwoman’s office to become the new Democratic Women’s Alliance director.
Lindsey Reynolds moved from the director of the secretary’s office to chief operating officer.
“We have recruited top-talent like new National Political Director Raul Alvilar as well as promoting staff who are ready to step into new leadership roles,” Dacey said in a statement. “Maureen, Regena, Kate, and Lindsey have unique skillsets and experiences that will make them invaluable assets to Democrats as we work toward November.”
Treadwell Shakes Up Alaska Senate Campaign
Alaska Republican Senate candidate Mead Treadwell last week announced a major shake-up of his campaign, with the departure of campaign manager Adam Jones and spokesman Rick Gorka. Longtime Treadwell friend and fundraiser Peter Christensen will run the campaign “until the new campaign manager is named,” Treadwell said in a statement.
Treadwell, Alaska’s lieutenant governor, is running in a competitive Aug. 19 GOP primary in which Dan Sullivan has emerged as the front-runner. The winner will take on first-term Democratic Sen. Mark Begich.
Utah Democratic Chairman Steps Down
Utah Democratic Party Chairman Jim Dabakis stepped down from his position on Monday.
Dabakis, who is openly gay and held the position for nearly three years, cited medical reasons for his resignation.
“While I spend the next months fighting some medical issues, I can assure you that my voice still works,” he wrote in an email to supporters.
Dabakis, who was profiled in the Washington Post in 2012 for his ambitious plans to make the party viable in Utah, added that he is forming “a new Democratic organization” called DABAK PAC that will “be the voice of Utah progressive people.” A member of the state legislature, he will continue with his state Senate re-election campaign.
In congressional politics, there is not much Democratic action in the state. Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson announced his retirement from the House in December, eliminating the party’s only chance to represent the Beehive State on Capitol Hill.
Mackowiak Joins Campaign Against Texas Rep. Ralph Hall
Texas-based GOP consultant Matt Mackowiak will serve as a senior campaign adviser to attorney John Ratcliffe, who forced Texas Rep. Ralph M. Hall into a May 27 GOP primary runoff.
“Matt has deep experience in Texas campaigns and helps broaden and deepen our campaign capabilities for this primary runoff,” Ratcliffe said in a statement.
House Majority PAC Names New Spokesman
House Majority PAC, a super PAC aiming to elect House Democrats, recently hired Matt Thornton as its new communications director. He replaces Andy Stone, who recently left the group for a position at Facebook.
“Matt has the right combination of experience and savvy to help House Majority PAC hold Republicans accountable and win House seats,” Executive Director Alixandria Lapp said in a statement.
Thornton previously worked at American Bridge 21st Century, a Democratic opposition research group, and is an ex-Hill staffer.
Portman Hires Up in Press Shop
Sen. Rob Portman recently hired two new press secretaries.
Christyn Keyes, a former National Republican Congressional Committee staffer, will cover northern and east central Ohio, while Mike Haidet will work with media outlets in southern and west central Ohio.
Keyes left her job in the office of freshman Republican Rep. David Joyce, also of Ohio. Emily Miller, the outgoing communications director for Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., will replace Keyes in Joyce’s office.
N.H. Democratic Spokesman Heads To Shaheen Campaign
Harrell Kirstein left the New Hampshire Democratic Party last week to serve as communications director on Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s, D-N.H., re-election campaign. In addition, Julie McClain left the office of Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and will take over for Kirstein as the state party spokeswoman.
The moves came days after former Sen. Scott P. Brown, R-Mass., announced he was preparing to launch a challenge to the first-term incumbent.
Baucus Staffer Joins Montana House Campaign
Kathy Weber joined Democratic ex-Hill staffer John Lewis’ campaign for Montana’s open, at-large seat.
Weber, who started the gig in early March, previously served as a spokeswoman for former Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who is now ambassador to China. Lewis is also a former Baucus staffer.
Democratic Operative to Run Texas Publication
The Texas Observer, a non-profit news organization, recently named Texas Democratic fundraiser Emily Williams as its new publisher.
“We were all impressed with her poise, knowledge of the Observer and extensive fundraising experience,” Texas Observer Editor Dave Mann said in a statement.
Williams was active in state politics and raised money for former Democratic Rep. Nick Lampson’s unsuccessful 2012 congressional comeback bid.
Wendy Davis Nabs Ex-Reid Staffer
Elsewhere in Texas, state Sen. Wendy Davis recently named veteran Capitol Hill staffer Zac Petkanas as her new communications director.
Petkanas was formerly a communications director to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and spent 2012 as senior adviser to the Nevada state party. Earlier this cycle he worked on the launch of Democrat Michelle Nunn’s Senate campaign in Georgia, a top pickup opportunity for the party.
Davis’ campaign suffered from a turbulent relationship with the local press earlier this year.
Lowey Spokesman Joins Giffords Group
Democratic spokesman Mark Prentice recently left Rep. Nita M. Lowey’s, D-N.Y., office to become the press secretary for Americans for Responsible Solutions. Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, founded the gun-control organization.
Soltis Anderson Leaves Firm
Kristen Soltis Anderson left her job last week as vice president at The Winston Group, a Washington-based opinion research and political communications firm.
The pollster, who joined the firm in 2005 and makes frequent TV appearances, plans to spend “the next few months focused full-time on a book project” and writing her weekly column for The Daily Beast, according to a note she sent colleagues. She also teased on Twitter “a few exciting opportunities that are underway.”
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