Republican Party of Ky. assembles statewide campaign team for 2014 election cycle

04/17/2013 03:56 PM

The Republican Party of Kentucky has hired 10 new staffers from across the country with varied political backgrounds to help lay the groundwork for helping with U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s re-election and capturing legislative seats.

The Republican Party of Kentucky expanded its field and headquarters staff with additions including a new communications director, Kelsey Cooper, who is from Los Angeles.

In addition, the party hired seven new field team staffers, four of which are from Kentucky and others from as far away as Anchorage, Alaska.

Some worked for McConnell as staff or an intern, several worked for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign and three worked for the presidential campaign of former Texas Congressman Ron Paul — the father of Kentucky’s other U.S. Senator.

In a phone interview, Cooper told Pure Politics that the field team will be working on grassroots campaigning in communities across the state, which will include voter registration and candidate recruitment.

The new field program, nicknamed “Team Kentucky 2014”, is the earliest and the largest program the statewide party has implemented for an election year, Cooper said.

“We are excited to be launching our largest and most comprehensive field program yet, especially so far out from the election. Our grassroots operation will be responsible for creating the type of infrastructure necessary to ensure the re-election of Senator McConnell, gain a majority in the state house, maintain a majority in the state senate, and ensure big wins for the Republican party all the way down the ticket,” Cooper said. “We have an incredibly talented group of individuals on board and they will be an invaluable asset to the party’s goals this cycle and in the future.”

McConnell Campaign Manager Jesse Benton said the level of organization early in the cycle is promising for Kentucky Republican candidates.

“Republicans in Kentucky are united and ready to work harder than ever before. The Team Kentucky program will we the best in country and a key in propelling Senator McConnell and Republicans across the state to victory in 2014,” Benton said in a statement to Pure Politics.

Republican officials say the campaign could expand depending on fundraising. Benton has said before to Pure Politics that if McConnell doesn’t get a big name challenger, leftover money could fuel other Republican efforts in Kentucky.

The new RPK team includes:

Kathryn Breiwa of Bowling Green, KY: Served as Deputy Director of External Relations for Mitt Romney for President. Graduate of Western Kentucky University and University of Texas at Austin. In 2005, Kathryn interned for Senator McConnell.

Jonathan Van Norman of Lake Charles, LA: Most recently served as the Des Moines, IA Field Staffer of National Right to Work Committee during the 2012 election cycle. Jonathan has extensive experience with grassroots with organizations, such as Liberty for All, Ron Paul for President 2012, and Leadership Institute. Graduate of Wheaton College.

Taylor Bumgardner of Winchester, KY: Served as the College Republican National Committee Field Director in Florida during the 2012 Presidential election. Soon-to-be graduate from the University of Kentucky. Member of the University of Kentucky College Republicans and past staffer of the Kentucky General Assembly.

David Harris of Louisville, KY: Most recently served as Programs & Advocacy Manager for the National MS Society- Kentucky/Southeast Indiana Chapter. In 2010, David joined the campaign effort of Hal Heiner for Louisville Mayor as the Field Director. Graduate of University of Kentucky.

Matthew Hissey of Philadelphia, PA: Matthew served as the Pennsylvania Grassroots Director of Americans for Prosperity during the 2012 election cycle. He also founded and presided the grassroots organization, Youth for Ron Paul at West Chester University. Graduate of West Chester University.

Natasha Montague of Anchorage, Alaska: Served as the Las Vegas, NV Field Staffer of National Right to Work Committee during the 2012 election cycle. In the past year, Natasha served as the State Chair of the Young Americans for Liberty-Illinois and a past campaign coordinator for Ron Paul for President 2012. Graduate of University of Illinois.

Eugenia Vickers of McKee, KY: Served as staff for the U.S. Senate office of Senator McConnell in Washington, D.C. and the Kentucky House Republican Leadership. Eugenia graduated from University of the Cumberlands.

Kelsey Cooper of Los Angeles, CA is joining the team in Frankfort, KY as Communications Director. She recently served as the Communications Desk Coordinator for the 2012 Romney for President campaign, and prior to that, she worked with the Meg Whitman for Governor campaign and interned at Fox News Channel. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.

Sarah Pickerel of Glasgow, KY is serving as the Finance Director and managing all fundraising and donor relations. Her past positions include serving as a captain for Romney Victory in Ohio as well as internships with U.S. Congressman Brett Guthrie and Kentucky Senator Mike Wilson. Sarah is a graduate of the University of Kentucky.

Travis Hall of Richmond, VA will be heading up the digital and research operation as Team Kentucky’s Digital Director. Travis comes to RPK with over 13 years of experience in political, public, and not-for-profit arenas, and most recently he served as a research analyst for the Republican National Committee. Travis is a graduate of Georgetown University.


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