Wednesday, January 10, 2007

RNC Adds Staff Talent

(from the Washington Post) The Republican National Committee is staffing up in anticipation of the handover of power from outgoing RNC Chair Ken Mehlman to its new leader, Sen. Mel Martinez (Fla.)

The latest hire is Lisa Camooso Miller, who will serve as communications director during the 2008 cycle. Miller comes to the RNC from a stint as spokeswoman for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert. (Miller's boss in Hastert's office -- Ron Bonjean -- has landed as executive director of the Senate Republican Conference.) She also worked under Bonjean at the Commerce Department and came up in the rough-and-tumble world of New Jersey politics, once serving as special assistant to former Gov. Donny DiFrancesco (R).

Miller joins Mike Duncan, who will run day-to-day operations.

The RNC has experienced a staff exodus of late as a number of senior operatives have left to join presidential campaigns. RNC political director Mike DuHaime is now heading up the exploratory committee of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani; RNC research director Matt Rhoades is serving as communications director for former Gov. Mitt Romney; Miller's predecessor -- Brian Jones -- will be communications director for Sen. John McCain's (Ariz.) 2008 campaign.

The Democratic National Committee has lost fewer people, probably due to the fact that Chairman Howard Dean is staying on through the 2008 election and wants to keep his current team in place. DNC executive director Tom McMahon, finance director Carl Chidlow and communications director Karen Finney are committed to remaining in their posts through 2008.

Deputy executive director Moses Mercado has left the DNC to join Ogilvy Government Relations, the lobbying firm formerly known as the Federalist Group. Political director Pam Womack will also leave the DNC but remain a consultant to Dean's vaunted "50 State Project."

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