Key People-Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty
Pawlenty for President, One Financial Plaza, 120 S. Sixth St., Minneapolis, MN   
as reported by Sam Black of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal on April 5, 2011, "the c
ommittee is leasing about 5,000 square feet, or half of the ninth floor"
announced withdrawal on Aug. 14, 2011 ... announced candidacy on May 23, 2011 ... formed Pawlenty for President Exploratory Committee on March 21, 2011 ... formed Freedom First PAC in Oct. 2009

(page updated August 18, 2011)

Campaign Manager  Nick Ayers

(announced April 10, 2011; to start April 25, 2011)  Transition director at the RNC following the election of Reince Priebus as chairman in Jan. 2011.  Executive director of the Republican Governors Association in the 2008 and 2010 cycles (started in Jan. 2007).  Before joining the RGA, Ayers managed Gov. Sonny Perdue (GA)’s 2006 re-election campaign after serving as a senior aide to Perdue and working on Purdue's 2002 campaign.  Ayers started at Kennesaw State University, but left freshman year to join Purdue's 2002 campaign (he finished his degree in 2009).  Worked at Georgia State Bank.  From Cobb County, GA.  twitter

Senior Advisor  Phil Musser

(announced Oct. 1, 2009)  President of New Frontier Strategy consulting firm, founded Jan. 2007.  In 2007 Musser served as senior advisor to Mitt Romney (R-MA)'s presidential campaign as well as to the campaigns of Governor Matt Blunt (R-MO) and Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA).  Executive director of the Republican Governors Association, Nov. 2005-Jan. 2007 (named by Gov. Romney).  Vice president of The Dutko Group Companies, announced July 2004.  A deputy director in organizing the G8 Summit, in Sea Island, GA.  Deputy chief of staff to Secretaries Alphonso Jackson and Mel Martinez at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Jan. 2001-April 2004.  Senior staff member for the 2001 Presidential Inaugural Committee.  A lead advance representative for the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2000 in Austin, Texas.  Assistant vice president to Dutko’s state and local lobbying firm, K*N*P, Jan. 1998-Aug. 2000.  Advance representative on Dole for President, 1995-96.  Special assistant at the RNC, 1994-95.  B.A. in History from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, 1994.

Senior Advisor  Terry Nelson

(announced Oct. 1, 2009)  Most recently partner at Mercury Public Affairs; became a partner when his Crosslink Strategy Group merged into the firm in May 2006.  Campaign manager on John McCain 2008, Dec. 2006-July 2007.  Senior advisor to McCain's Straight Talk America leadership PAC from March 2006; in Fall 2006 he also headed the RNC's independent expenditure effort.  Founder and managing partner of Crosslink Strategy Group; also a consultant and member of Akerman Senterfitt's Policy practice group.  Political director for Bush-Cheney '04, 2003-04 (announced May 30, 2003).  Deputy chief of staff and director of political operations at the RNC from January 2002 until joining the Bush campaign.  In February 2001 Nelson and two partners formed Dawson, McCarthy, Nelson Media, a Washington, DC consulting firm.  Political director for the NRCC during the 2000 cycle, and earlier served as the NRCC's national field director, 1997-99.  Majority staff director of the Iowa Senate, 1997.  NRCC field representative, 1995-96.  Campaign manager for Rep. Jim Nussle, 1992-95.  Graduate of the University of Iowa with a B.S. in political science, 1994.  From Marshalltown, Iowa.

Senior Advisor  Sara Taylor Fagen

(announced Oct. 1, 2009)  President of BlueFront Strategies, which she founded in 2007 >; also co-founder of Resonate Networks, 2008.  Taylor worked for eight years for George W. Bush, starting late April 1999-Jan. 2000 as coalitions director for Bush's Iowa caucus campaign, and finishing in May 2007 as White House Political Director reporting to Karl Rove; she was the youngest White House political director ever.  Prior to joining Bush, Taylor worked for two years at the Tarrance Group, the No. Va. polling firm headed by Ed Goeas.  In 1995-96 she worked on Sen. Phil Gramm's presidential campaign in Iowa.  Graduate of Drake University, 1997.  From Dubuque, Iowa; her father Ray Taylor served as a state representative.


Political Director  Jon Seaton

(announced April 13, 2011)  Runs East Meridian Strategies, a political consulting firm based in Alexandria, VA.  In the 2008 cycle Seaton served as regional campaign manager for Ohio and Pennsyvlania for the McCain-Palin campaign; briefly Northwest regional political director at the RNC, state director on McCain's Iowa caucus campaign; and the McCain campaign's national field director prior to the July 2, 2007 restructuring.  Associate director (West/Northern Plains) in the White House Office of Political Affairs.  Executive director of Bush-Cheney '04 in Washington State, and in the last three weeks transferred to Iowa where he oversaw Election Day strategy and GOTV.  Field representative at the National Association of Realtors®.  Worked at the National Republican Congressional Committee and in the first part of 2002 he managed John Redwine's primary campaign in Iowa's 5th CD.  He worked on the field teams of the National Federation of Independent Business and Associated Builders and Contractors.  Graduate of the University of Colorado.  Native of Berkeley, CA.


Communications Director  AnnMarie Hauser

(June 6, 2011 Tweet)  Comes to the campaign from position as vice president for media relations and corporate responsibility at JPMorgan Chase, started there April 2010.  Communications director to Sen Mike Johanns, 2009-10.  Director of public affairs and earlier press secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Jan. 2008-Jan. 2009.  Spokeswoman for international affairs at tue U.S. Department of Treasury, 2007-08.  Regional press secretary at the RNC, 2005-06.  Iowa communications director on Bush-Cheney '04, from May 2004.  Worked on business development at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer Feld LLP in Washington, DC.  Associate at the White House Writers Group, 1999-2000.  B.A. in speech communications from Texas A&M University.  twitter

National Press Secretary  Alex Conant

Communications director for Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC (announced Oct. 1, 2009). Consultant  Press secretary at the Republican National Committee in the 2008 cycle.  Midwest regional spokesman in the White House Office of Media Affairs.  Spokesman at the Office of Management and Budget.  Press secretary to Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Jan.-Aug. 2005.  Communications director on George Nethercutt's 2004 campaign for U.S. Senate in Washington State.  Speechwriter for Secretary of Commerce Don Evans.  Worked on Norm Coleman's 2002 U.S. Senate campaign.  B.A. in economics (2002) and M.P.A. in domestic policy (2003) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was editor-in-chief of the Badger Herald.  Grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota.  twitter

Assistant Press Secretary  Caitlin Dunn

Scheduler at Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC starting in Dec. 2009.  Worked on the McCain-Palin campaign.  B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, 2008.


Digital Director  Corey Vale

(announced June 18, 2011)  Managing director at Red Yawp Digital in Arizona since Jan. 2009; internet director for John McCain 2010.  Senior strategic account manager at Limelight Networks, 2007-09.  Communications coordinator on Len Munsil for Governor campaign in Arizona, 2006.  Midwest regional sales director at FinanCenter Inc. 2001-06.  Vice president of business development at, an e-learning company, 1998-2001.  Degree in political science from the University of Arizona, 1997.  twitter


Deputy Policy Director  Elise Stefanik

(Director of new media and deputy policy director for Freedom First PAC)  "Economic think tanker."  Founded American Maggie, a website for conservative and Republican women, in Sept. 2009.  Executive assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Chief of Staff in the White House Chief of Staff's office, and earlier worked on the President’s Domestic Policy Council.  Graduate of Harvard University, 2006.  Originally from upstate New York; "worked on numerous political campaigns growing up."  twitter

Senior Policy Advisor  Brian Hook

Senior policy director for the PAC, reported by Politico Jan. 29, 2010.  Appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, March 2008.  A senior advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 2006-08.  Special Assistant to the President for Policy, Office of the Chief of Staff at the White House.  Counsel in the Office of Legal Policy at the Department of Justice from 2003-04.  Practiced corporate law at Hogan and Hartson LLP in Washington, DC, 1999-2003.  Deputy legislative liaison for Gov. Terry E. Branstad of Iowa. Legislative aide to Congressman James A. Leach.  Law degree from the University of Iowa, 1999; Master’s degree in philosophy from Boston College; and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Policy Chair  Al Hubbard

(announced June 10, 2011)  Headed the National Economic Council under President George W. Bush.

Policy Advisor  Honorable Vin Weber

(announced Oct. 1, 2009)  Managing partner at Clark and Weinstock.  Served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981-93 representing Minnesota's 2nd CD.


(team announced in a conference call on March 28, 2011..."the fundraising effort will begin in earnest in April")

National Finance Director  Brian Haley

National finance director for Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC (announced Dec. 4, 2009)  National finance director for John McCain’s Country First PAC after serving as the deputy finance director for McCain-Palin 2008.  J.D. from University of Texas School of Law, Dec. 2009.  Worked in China for Dell Computers.  twitter

Deputy National Finance Director  Katie McBreen

Finance director on Jerry Moran's campaign for U.S. Senate in Kansas, Jan. 2009-Jan. 2011.  Finance director on Nick Jordan for Congress om Kansas, 2008.  Special assistant to the CFO and general counsel on Romney for President, 2007-08.  Fundraiser for the NRSC, 2006-07.  Graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder.  twitter

Minnesota Finance Director  Trisha Hamm

Minnesota finance director for Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC (announced Oct. 1, 2009)  Political director for Pawlenty’s gubernatorial campaign committee in 2007-08 when it was not clear if he would seek a third term.  Worked for the Minnesota State Senate and was the finance director for the Senate Victory Fund.  Graduate of the University of Minnesota-Duluth, 2000.

Associate Finance Director  Chrissy Scherer

Associate finance director on Ron Johnson's successful 2010 campaign for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin.

Ann Herberger, Senior Finance Consultant, National Outreach

Paige Marriott, Senior Financial Consultant, National Fundraising

Pam Kinsey, Senior Finance Consultant, Midwest region

Paige Lance Hahn, Senior Finance Consultant, Mid-Atlantic region

Alison McIntosh, Senior Finance Consultant, Texas

Gretchen Picotte, Senior Finance Consultant, Florida

Cassandra Vandenberg, Senior Finance Consultant, California

Rick Nelson, Finance Consultant, Minnesota and National Outreach

Shanna Woodbury, Finance Consultant, Minnesota and National Outreach

Andrea Evans, Finance Consultant, Arizona
The Starboard Group, Finance Consultants, Colorado

Sue Walden, Finance Consultant, Texas

finance consultant bios

Finance Co-Chairs (announced July 15, 2011)
Dave Frauenshuh, Minnesota
Russ Gerson, New York
Phil Handy, Florida
Tom Hicks, Texas
Ken Moelis, New York and California
Joe Schmuckler, New York
Ray Washburne, Texas


Ads/Videographer  Lucas Baiano

Worked at the Republican Governors Association in the 2010 cycle through early Feb. 2011.  Executive producer and digital media/social network specialist with Lumiere Film Group; produced a film on the 2008 presidential election (WeRPolitics).  Canadian-American.


Pollster and Advisor  Jon Lerner

(announced April 14, 2011)  Founder and principal of Red Sea, LLC and Basswood Research (+).  "He has worked in politics and campaigns for 17 years, and has extensive polling experience.  In 2010 alone, Lerner played leading roles in the successful campaigns of U.S. Senators  Pat Toomey (R-PA), Tom Coburn (R-OK), and Mike Lee (R-UT), Governors Nikki Haley (R-SC) and Sean Parnell (R-AK), and Congressman Tim Scott (R-SC-1).  For many years, Lerner has also worked extensively with the Club for Growth, one of America's leading free market advocacy organizations. In 2009, Lerner was the chief strategist for the 7.4 million dollar independent expenditure the RGA ran on behalf of Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ)."  Managed Sen. Al D'Amato's unsuccessful re-election bid against Chuck Schumer in 1998.  Originally from Minnesota.


Scheduler  Kayla Cook

Previously assistant to AEI president Arthur C. Brooks.

Counsel  Michael Toner

(announced Oct. 1, 2009) Partner at Bryan Cave LLP where he is head of the firm’s Election Law and Government Ethics practice; joined the firm in 2007.  FEC Commissioner, 2002-07, including chairman in 2006.  General Counsel of the Bush-Cheney transition team in Washington, D.C. and the Bush-Cheney 2000 presidential campaign in Austin, Texas. Deputy Counsel at the RNC, 1997-99.  Counsel to the Dole-Kemp presidential campaign in 1996.  J.D. from Cornell University, 1992; M.A. from Johns Hopkins University, 1989; B.A. from the University of Virginia, 1986.

Treasurer  Mark Kennedy

(reported March 22, 2011)  CEO of Chartwell Strategic Advisors, LLC.  Republican nominee for U.S. Senate from Minnesota in 2006, defeated by Amy Klobuchar.  Served three terms in Congress, 2001-07.  Business experience includes a senior executive of Macy’s; and helping Pillsbury acquire Häagen Dazs.  Undergraduate degree from St. John's University; M.B.A. from the University of Michigan.



Headquarters: 3590 109th St. Urbandale (Branstad 2010 headquarters; reported by The Iowa Republican on April 18, 2011)
the exploratory committee announced Iowa organization including 10 field representatives on April 29, 2011
also note the considerable Iowa experience of senior advisors Terry Nelson and Sarah Taylor and political director Jon Seaton.

Director  House Majority Whip Erik Helland

(announced April 29, 2011)  Represents District 69 (Johnston area); first elected in 2008.  Compliance officer for a local bank, and participates in the operation of a seventh generation family farm in the district.  An Iowa field staffer for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.  Midwest political director for former New York Gov. George Pataki’s 21st Century Political Action Committee.  J.D. from Drake University, 2009; bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Drake University.  twitter

Deputy Director  Annie Kelly 
(announced (April 29, 2011)  Operations director on Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC (announced Oct. 1, 2009). A senior associate with the Washington-based firm BlueFront Strategies, she is a veteran of the McCain presidential campaign and a former employee of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  She also interned in the White House Office of Senior Advisor Karl Rove.  Deputy campaign manager for Pawlenty’s campaign in 2006.  Philadelphia native.

Political Director  Tracie Gibler
(announced April 29, 2011)  Campaign manager on Miller-Meeks for Congress, 2010.  Director of development for Americans for Limited Government, 2009.  Research analyst for Berman & Company, 2008.  Southeast Iowa regional field director and also worked field in Florida for the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee, 2007-08.  J.D. from Drake University Law School, 2007; undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, 2003.

Field Representatives (announced April 29, 2011): Rob Anderson, Daniel Catlin, Travis Holler, Kevin Kuhle, Dane Nealson, Andy Swanson, Mike Thom, John Wesley Vinson, Andrew Wagner, Anthony Zammit 

State Spokesman/Senior Consultant  Eric Woolson

(reported March 9, 2011 by Chris Cillizza; officially announced May 20, 2011)  President and CEO of The Concept Works, a public, media and government relations and crisis management firm in West Des Moines that he founded in 2002.  Campaign manager for Mike Huckabee's 2007-08 Iowa caucus campaign; started as coordinator of Huckabee's Hope for America PAC in June 2006.  Communications director on then Gov. George W. Bush's Iowa caucus campaign, 1999-2000.  Communications director for Gov. Terry Branstad during his final term.  Previously worked for 20 years as a member of the Iowa press corps.  O.Kay Henderson notes on Radio Iowa, the blog (June 13, 2006) that, "Woolson left the Waterloo Courier in 1987 to work as press secretary for Delaware Senator Joe Biden’s Iowa effort."  He is also author of Grassley: Senator from Iowa (Mid-Prairie Books, Nov. 1995).

Senior Consultant  Chuck Larson

(helping with trip planning from summer 2010; announced May 20, 2011)  A partner at Larson Shannahan Slifka Group (LS2g) in West Des Moines.  Ambassador to Latvia, 2008-09.  Larson served as a senior advisor on John McCain's 2007-08 Iowa caucus campaign.  He represented Cedar Rapids in the state legislature from 1993-2007, elected as a state rep. in 1992 and as a state senator in 2002.  Chair of the Republican Party of Iowa from 2001-05.  General counsel for The ESCO Group, Cedar Rapids.  Jones County assistant attorney, 1997-99.  B.A. in economics, 1992 and J.D., 1996 from the University of Iowa.  As a major in the U.S. Army Reserves, Larson served in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003-04.

Senior Consultant  Karen Slifka

(helping with trip planning from summer 2010; announced May 20, 2011)  Managing partner of Larson Shannahan Slifka Group (LS2g) in West Des Moines, since 2006.  A senior advisor on John McCain's 2007-08 Iowa caucus campaign.  Midwest regional political director at the RNC, 2004-07.  Midwest regional political director on Bush-Cheney '04.  Worked for John Kasich's exploratory committee and then Steve Forbes in the 1999-2000 Iowa caucus campaign.  Development director for Iowans for Tax Relief.  Started out with Jim Nussle as a field rep. on his 1992 campaign.  Originally from Waterloo.

Senior Consultant  Ed Failor, Jr.

(announced May 20, 2011)  From Muscatine.  Worked 16 years at Iowans for Tax Relief, including more than two as president before resigning April 22.  Consulted on McCain's Iowa caucus campaign, 2007; senior political advisor to Pataki's 21st Century Freedom PAC, June-Nov. 2006. President of Targeted Consulting since 2005.  Executive director Republican Party of Iowa’s Victory 2004 campaign.

Senior Political Advisor  Sarah Huckabee Sanders

(announced July 5, 2011 "taking the lead for the campaign on the Iowa Straw Poll effort with a focus on expanding the campaign’s grassroots operations across the first-in-the-nation caucus state") Campaign manager on Rep. John Boozman's successful 2010 U.S. Senate campaign in Arkansas.  Before that she headed HUCK PAC from its founding in April 2008.  National field director on Mike Huckabee's 2007-08 presidential campaign.  Worked for about two years in the congressional affairs office at the Department of Education in Washington, DC.  Graduate of Ouachita Baptist University.

Senior Advisor  Nicole Schlinger

(announced May 27, 2011)  Founded Campaign Headquarters (previously Captol Resources) in 1999; the firm, based in Brooklyn, Iowa, provides fundraising, event management and voter contact services.  Straw Poll director for Mitt Romney for the Aug. 2007 event.  Two years as finance director for th Republican Party of Iowa.  Bachelor's degree in economics and policy studies from Syracuse University, Dec. 1995.  Originally from New York.

Steering Committee

Chairman - Former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker
(announced May 17, 2011)  Managing partner of the Des Moines law firm, Whitaker Hagenow GMBG.  Served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa from 2004-09.  Prior to appointment Whitaker worked at law firm of Finely Alt Smith.  In 2002 he was the Republican nominee for Treasurer.  Corporate counsel to SUPERVALU.  Worked for the law firm of Briggs & Morgan.  Undergraduate, master of business administration and law degrees from the University of Iowa.

Co-Chair - Christian Fong
(announced June 15, 2011)  Candidate for the Republican nomination for governor in 2010, then founded and chaired the Iowa Dream Project, a 501(c)(4) focused on increasing voter turnout among Generation X and Millennial conservatives.  Managing partner of Fong Strategic Consulting since July 2009, where he serves clients in the financial services sector and commercial real estate.  Head of capital markets for AEGON USA.  CEO at the disaster relief agency Corridor Recovery.  M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Co-Chair - Roger Underwood
(announced June 15, 2011)  A co-founder and executive advisor at Rural American Fund.  Co-founded (1982) Becker Underwood in Ames; "the firm has grown into the world's leading supplier of non-pesticide specialty chemical and biological products." Graduate of Iowa State University.

Co-Chair - Jim Kurtenbach
(announced June 20, 2011)  Elected RPI co-chair in January 2009 and re-elected early 2011; resigning as co-chair to support the campaign.  Associate dean for administration at the Iowa State University College of Engineering as well as associate professor of accounting at Iowa State. Served in the Iowa House, 2003-06.  Founding partner in the private equity and advisory service firm Prairie Oak Capital, LLC.  PhD in accounting from University of Missouri-Columbia; M.S. in accounting from University of Tulsa, 1987; B.S. in industrail administration from Iowa State University.  From Ames.

Co-Chair - Former State Auditor Richard Johnson
(announced June 23, 2011)  Johnson was appointed Auditor by Gov. Robert Ray in 1979 after the incumbent died; he was elected to the position six times and served 24 years.  Co-chair of John McCain's 2007-08 Iowa caucus campaign and co-chair of Phil Gramm’s presidential campaign in 1996.  Appointed as the Director of Finance for the Iowa Highway Commission in 1968; appointed as the first Director of the Department of Transportation's Administration Division in 1975; and appointed as the Director of the Department of Transportation's Motor Vehicle Division in 1978.  Mayor of Sheldahl  from 1964-75.  Started in public service as the Sheldahl City Clerk in 1959.  Bachelor's degree in accounting from Drake University; also earned CPA.  Native of Spencer.

Steering Committee Members

(announced July 8, 2011)
Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart
Fayette County GOP Chair Jim Kirkpatrick
Des Moines attorney Brian Rickert
Des Moines attorney William Gustoff
former Mike Huckabee aide Aubrie Johnson
former Iowa GOP Victory program treasurer Mark Havlicek
Des Moines businessman Nick Gerhart

Iowa Legislative Steering Committee

(announced June 27, 2011)
Rep. Erik Helland, Majority Whip
Rep. Steve Lukan, Assistant Leader
Rep. Matt Windschitl, Assistant Leader
Rep. Chip Baltimore
Rep. Joel Fry
Rep. Chris Hagenow
Rep. Linda Miller

Sen. Rob Bacon
Sen. Randy Feenstra
Sen. Shawn Hamerlinck

County Leadership
(29 county chairs announced August 2, 2011)

Black Hawk - Don Kuhle, Cedar Falls
Cedar - John Kaufmann, Wilton
Cerro Gordo - Gabe Haugland
Dallas - Tyler DeHaan, Urbandale
Dubuque - Jim Heavens, Dyersville
Emmet - Kimberly Hageman, Estherville
Fayette - Jim Kirkpatrick, Fayett
Guthrie - David Stolp, Panora
Hamilton - Ann Hampken, Williams
Hancock - Gerald Edgar, Garner
Harrison - Charles Petterson, Persia
Henry - Jenny Turner, Mount Pleasant
Jasper - Mark Parriott, Newton
Johnson - Joe Kippley, Iowa City
Linn - Eric Rosenthal, Cedar Rapids
Mahaska - Lawrence Rouw, New Sharon
Marshall - Kerry Jech, Marshalltown
Mills - Tyler Mahood, Glenwood
Muscatine - John Kaufmann, Wilton
Polk - Matt McDermott, West Des Moines
Scott - Jeanita McNulty, Blue Grass
Sioux - Mick Snieder, Orange City
Story - Jeremy Davis, Ames
Wapello - Blake Smith, Ottumwa
Warren - Susan Geddes, Indianola
Washington - Tricia Lipski, Washington
Webster - Ed Touney, Fort Dodge
Winnebago - Jerry Tweeten, Forest City
Woodbury - Paul Baker, Sioux City

Ben Foster served as the first Iowa staffer, starting with the PAC (reported by the DMR on Sept. 14, 2010).  He is a graduate of the University of Alabama, 2009.  He was suspended and then resigned effective April 16, 2011. 

New Hampshire

Headquarters: 273 South River Road, Bedford (reported by Granite Status on April 6, 2011; about 1,600 square feet) +
(NH staff formally announced June 1, 2011)

State Director  Sarah (Crawford) Stewart

Taking leave from b-fresh consulting, LLC, which she founded in 2008.  Senior advisor to Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC (announced June 2010).  Deputy campaign manager on John McCain's 2008 NH primary campaign; started in Dec. 2006 as deputy political director, New England region.  Communications director at The Dennehy Group, started there in June 2004.  Eastern region manager for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, based in Rhode Island.  Worked on coalitions for Craig Benson's 2002 gubernatorial campaign.  Assistant to the executive director at the NRCC.  Helped set up McCain's Straight Talk America leadership PAC after the campaign.  Field organizer on McCain's 2000 NH primary campaign.  B.A. in American history from the University of Vermont.

Political Director  Peter Towey

Political director and earlier field director on the Toomey for Senate campaign in Pennsyvania, 2009-10.  Deputy political director and earlier field representative on the Chris Hackett for Congress campaign in PA-10, 2008.  Food expeditor at Mastro's Ocean Club, 2005-07.  72-hour director on the Jim Ogonowski for Congress campaign in Mass. for the last two months of the campaign, 2007.  Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree from Arizona State University, 2007.

Field  Luke Kraus

(started with Freedom First PAC, working for Crawford, reported by John DiStaso, Granite Status, Aug. 12, 2010)  B.A. in political science from American University, 2010.  Development intern for Americans for Prosperity, 2007-09, also interned for Sen. Judd Gregg and Executive Councilor Ray Burton.  From Hanover, NH.

Field  Robert Simpson

Served as a regional field representative on the Linda McMahon for Senate campaign in Connecticut in 2010.  Connecticut native.

Field  Nick Trainer

Philadelphia field representative on the Toomey for Senate campaign.  Worked for the North Carolina Republican Party.

Field  Elissa Voccola

Political director on the Caligiuiri for Congress campaign in CT-5 in 2010; previously a regional field representative on the Simmons for Senat campaign.

Office Manager  Erin LaMontagne

(April 2011)  Assistant campaign manager on Ovide Lamontagne for U.S. Senate, 2010.  B.A. in English and music from Providence College.

Senior Advisor Rich Killion

(reported by Granite Status on March 24, 2011)  Managing partner at Elevare Communications since 2004.  Consultant and NH strategist on Romney for President, 2007-08.  Director of the Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication at Franklin Pierce College, 2002-04.  Campaign manager on Keough for Governor, 2001-02.  New Hampshire state director for Citizens for a Sound Economy, 1999-2001.  Managing director of college relations and lecturer at Franklin Pierce College, 1995-99.  Director of education, legislation and finance at TCI/Taylor, Hagerty & Associates, 1994-95.  Director of Tele-Consultants, Inc., 1989-94.  M.P.A. from George Mason University, 1994.  B.A. in economic from Stonehill College, 1989.  twitter

Steering Committee

(from April 21, 2011)
John Lyons:  served as Chairman of Governor Pawlenty's NH Freedom First PAC, is Chairman of the State Board of Education, and was Vice Chairman of Senator John McCain's 2008 NH campaign.

Cliff Hurst:  the Manchester businessman recently finished his term as Chairman of the Manchester Republican Committee and was co-Chairman of Governor Huckabee's 2008 NH campaign (ed.-reported by Roll Call in Jan. 2011). 

Bill Cahill:  the Piermont resident is a former Executive Councilor from District 3 and former State Representative.  Bill has served in volunteer leadership of a number of presidential campaigns - most recently for former Senator Fred Thompson's 2008 NH campaign.  Bill is also the Founder and CEO of Cahill Public Affairs, LLC.

Harold Turner:  the Goffstown businessman is President of H.L. Turner Group and is a member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Harold was Finance Chairman for Ovide Lamontagne's 2010 U.S. Senate primary campaign.

Carissa Means:  Chairperson of the Lebanon Republican Committee and a member of the Lebanon School Board.  Carissa has already hosted the Governor and Mrs. Pawlenty for a widely attended house party in March 2011.

Bruce Berke:  the Bow resident was Treasurer of NH Freedom First PAC, is State Director for NFIB, and Founding and Managing Partner of Sheehan Phinney Capital Group in Concord.  Bruce has been actively involved in NH presidential and state campaigns for 30 years.

Dave MacLaughlin:  Nashua Republican Activist, former Alderman in Nashua, McCain 2008 Nashua City Chair and Alternate Delegate to the National Republican Convention. Dave is also serves as the Chair of the Nashua Conservation Commission.

Representative Shaun Doherty:  Shaun is currently serving his second term in the State House of Representatives. He previously served as the New Hampshire Youth Chairman for Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign.Doherty announced switch to Romney on July 26, as reported by Granite Status John DiStaso.

(announced June 22, 2011)
Jennifer Horn:  GOP nominee for the 2nd CD in 2008.  Founder of “We The People: A First-in-the-Nation Freedom Forum.” Experience as a  radio talk show host, newspaper columnist and small business owner.

(announced July 14, 2011)
Bruce Keough:  Keough, a private investor, served as State Senator from 1995 to 1997 and served on the University System board from 1997 to 2001.  Keough also was a candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor in 2002. Bruce has served in volunteer leadership roles for a number of New Hampshire charities, initiatives and campaigns – most recently as co-chairman of the New Hampshire Romney for President effort in 2007-08.

South Carolina

Political Director  Kurt Pickhardt

(started on May 16, 2011) Came to the campaign after about two years working as operations director of the South Carolina Republican Party.  Degree in political science from the University of South Carolina; interned at the South Carolina Republican Party headquarters.  Greenville native.

Co-Chair  U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson

(announced June 9, 2011)

Co-Chair  Former Attorney General Charlie Condon

(announced June 23, 2011)  Practicing attorney in the Charleston, SC area.  Served as the Attorney General of South Carolina from 1995-2003. He previously served as co-chair of John McCain’s 2008 presidential primary in South Carolina, as well as George W. Bush’s and Bob Dole’s efforts in 2000 and 1996, respectively.


State Chairman and National Finance Co-Chairman  Phil Handy

(announced May 26, 2011)  Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Industries, a worldwide diversified service and manufacturing company, since Oct. 2001.  In 2007-08 he served as a Florida co-chair on Sen. John McCain's campaign and chaired McCain's Education Policy Committee.  Served six years as chairman of the Florida State Board of Education, appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush (through Jan. 2007).  State chairman of Jeb Bush’s gubernatorial campaigns in Florida in 1993-94 and 1997-98; and co-chairman of his 2002 re-election campaign.  Chairman of Limited Political Terms petition effort in Florida in 1991-92.  CEO of ComBanks Corporation, a bank holding company in central Florida.  Vice President for investment banking with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Inc. in New York, 1970-76.  Started career as a securities analyst at Fidelity Management and Research in Boston, 1968.  MBA from Harvard Business School; B.A. in economics from Princeton University.

Co-Chair  Justin Sayfie

(announced May 26, 2011)  A founding shareholder of Blosser & Sayfie, and publisher of, one of Florida's top news websites.  Prior to co-founding Blosser & Sayfie in August 2001, Justin worked as a senior policy advisor, spokesman and chief speechwriter for Gov. Jeb Bush.  Justin was a Ranger in the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign, and served as Vice-Chair for the Florida Republican Party Victory campaign in 2006.

Co-Chair  State Rep. (and Speaker Designate) Will Weatherford +

(announced July 6, 2011)  First elected to the State Legislature in 2006, represents District 61 (Pasco County and a bit of Hillsborough County); designated to become Speaker in 2012.  Aide to then House Speaker Allan Bense; worked on Florida House Republican campaigns in 2004.  Bachelor's degree in business administration from Jacksonville University, 2002.  Moved to Florida in 1986; resident of Wesley Chapel.  As reported by the St. Petersburg Times, Weatherford works for Breckenridge Enterprises and Simpson Environmental Services.

Co-Chair  Slater Bayliss

(announced July 19, 2011)  Partner in The Advocacy Group at Cardenas Partners since 2005.  Executive director of  "Floridians for Responsible Spending," 2004.  Director of corporate relations in Gov. Jeb Bush's office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development.  Director of operations for Governor Bush’s Inaugural Celebration, 2003.  Personal assistant to Governor Bush, 2000-02.  Director of the Republican Party of Florida's Committee of 100, their highest donor level.  Bayliss has also worked on the George W. Bush for President Iowa straw poll effort in 1999, Jeb Bush's gubernatorial race in 1998, and for the Republican Governors' Association at the Republican Convention in 1996.  B.A. in political science from the University of Iowa. 

Regional Chairman  State Rep. Chris Dorworth +

(announced July 6, 2011)  Represents District 34, which encompasses a fair part of Seminole County, elected Nov. 2007.  Elected to Seminole County Soil & Water Conservation District in 2006.  Seminole County Chairman of Bush/Cheney 2004.  Worked for Johnson & Johnson; a manager for Proctor & Gamble.  M.B.A. from Duke University, 2006; bachelor's degree from University of Florida, 1998.  Resident of Lake Mary.  Real estate investor.

Regional Chaiman  State Rep. Richard Corcoran +

(announced July 6, 2011)  Represents District 45, elected 2010.  Has served as advisor to three Speakers of the Florida House.  J.D. from Regent University, 1996; bachelor's degree from St. Leo College, 1989; served in the U.S. Naval Reserve.  Resident of New Port Richey.  Attorney.

title? (" to lead Gov. Pawlenty's efforts in Florida")  Bret Prater

(announced July 19, 2011)  Political director for the Republican Party of Florida in the 2010 cycle (from May/June 2009); previously a coordinator of the RPOF’s Get Out the Vote Program.  Served as deputy director of external affairs in the Executive Office of Gov. Crist and as a special assistant to the Governor for a 37-county region in North Florida.  Organized the RPOF’s statewide precinct walker program in the 2006 election.  Did political work for the Florida Association of Realtors, 2005-06.  Florida Victory 2004 field staffer in Leon County.  A grassroots organizer for the Bush/Brogan ‘02 gubernatorial campaign in Miami-Dade County.

Endorsements by Elected Officials
(announced July 6, 2011)
Rep. (and Speaker Designate) Will Weatherford, Wesley Chapel
Rep. Chris Dorworth, Lake Mary
Rep. Richard Corcoran, New Port Richey
(announced July 22, 2011)
Rep. Janet Adkins, Fernandina Beach
Rep. Ben Albritton, Wauchula
Rep. Frank Artiles, Miami
Rep. Jason Brodeur,  Sanford
Rep. James Grant, Tampa
Rep. Ana Rivas Logan, Miami 
Rep. Jeanette Nunez,  Miami
Rep. Jose Oliva, Miami
Rep. Scott Plakon, Longwood
Rep. John Tobia, Melbourne

Rep. Carlos Trujillo, Miami


National Senior Finance Advisor  Ann Herberger

(announced March 28, 2011...see above)

Florida Finance Director  Gretchen Picotte

(announced March 28, 2011...see above)


Honorary Chair  Former Gov. Sonny Perdue

(honorary chair role reported June 22; endorsement announced June 9, 2011—he had been supporting Newt Gingrich)  note Ayers connection

Georgia Finance Chair  Tricia Pridemore

(reported June 22, 2011)

Co-Chairman  Former Senate President Eric Johnson

(reported June 22, 2011)


Over 100 Minnesota conservatives (announced June 29, 2011)


Attorney General Mike DeWine (announced July 11, 2011)
Auditor Dave Yost (announced May 31, 2011)

Ohio fiscal conservative leaders (announced July 1, 2011)

Freedom First PAC organization included...

William H. Strong

(announced Oct. 1, 2009)  Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley.

Honorable Vin Weber

(announced Oct. 1, 2009)  Managing partner at Clark and Weinstock.  Served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981-93 representing Minnesota's 2nd CD.

Minnesota Co-Chairs

(announced Oct. 1, 2009) Al & Cathy Annexstad, Shorewood, Minnesota  |  Bill Cooper, Chairman of the Board and CEO, TCF Financial Corporation, and former Chairman of Republican Party of Minnesota.  |  Mark Davis, Chairman, Cambria   |  Megan Doyle, Founder, Hope for the City  |  Jeff Larson, Former CEO, 2008 MSP Host Committee and Partner, FLS Connect.  |  Susan Marvin, President, Marvin Windows  |  Tim Owens, CEO, Voyager Bank  |  Tom Stauber, President & owner, Edwards Sales  |  Bob Ulrich, Former CEO, Target

Online Strategy  Patrick Ruffini and Mindy Finn, Engage

(announced Oct. 1, 2009) Ruffini and Finn are partners at Engage, which he founded in 2007.  After the 2008 elections they started Ruffini and Finn were a team on Bush-Cheney '04 and subsequently at the RNC.
Ruffini - eCampaign director at the RNC, announced Oct. 11, 2005 through to Jan. 2007.  Webmaster and blogger for Bush-Cheney '04, responsible for managing President George W. Bush’s reelection campaign website, starting in June 2003.  Deputy director of online communications at the RNC, July 2002-June 2003.  Staff assistant at American Enterprise Institute, March 2001-June 2002.  Ruffini ran a political blog which launched in July 2001.  May 2000 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with B.A. in Diplomatic History and Political Science; was chairman of Penn College Republicans, 1998-99.
Finn - Director of e-strategy on Mitt Romney's campaign.  Director of new media and technology on Sen. Rick Santorum's 2006 campaign.  Deputy eCampaign director at the RNC starting in early 2005.  Deputy webmaster on Bush-Cheney '04.  Worked on Capitol Hill for Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), as legislative correspondent and webmaster, and for Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY).  Prior to entering politics, Finn worked as a congressional correspondent for a Connecticut daily newspaper.  She is originally from Houston, Texas.

Online Communications Outreach  Liz Mair and Patrick Hynes of Hynes Communications

(announced Oct. 1, 2009)  Hynes Communications
- Online communications director at the Republican National Committee in 2008.  Lived in the United Kingdom for ten years where she earned an M.A. in international relations from the University of St. Andrews, attended law school, and practiced corporate law in the London for three years.  Born and raised in Seattle, WA.
Hynes - President of the firm.  Online outreach consultant for Sen. John McCain’s 2008 campaign. Experience also includes account executive with the consulting firm Marsh Copsey + Scott.  Author of In Defense of the Religious Right (Nelson Current).

Treasurer  Don Stiles

(announced Oct. 1, 2009) Treasurer on Pawlenty's 2006 re-election campaign. Career includes 18 years at ING ReliaStar, Jan. 1983-Dec. 2000, where he served as assistant vice president for corporate tax services.  M.B.A. in accounting from University of Minnesota, 1979; B.A. in economics from Carleton College, 1973.