Key People-Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA)
updated October 26, 2006

Old City Hall  |  45 School Street, 2nd Floor  |  Boston, MA    federal PAC and affiliates in IA, MI, NH, SC and formerly AZ
Director Beth Myers
(announced Aug. 21, 2006)  Previously chief of staff in the Governor's Office, starting at the outset of the Romney administration.  Chief of staff to state Treasurer Joseph Malone for five years.  Graduate of Tufts University, 1979.
Political Director Julie Teer
(March 2006)  Teer served as Romney's press secretary in the Governor's office starting in April 2005.  Executive director for Bush-Cheney '04 in New Hampshire. Communications director for the New Hampshire Republican State Committee starting in March 2003.  Worked briefly for Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) in Washington, DC after serving as press secretary on Sununu's campaign during fall 2002.  Served as press secretary to Sen. Spencer Abraham (R-MI).  Native of East Lansing.
Deputy Political Director Jessica Peterson

Press Secretary Jared Young
(started early Oct. 2006, announced Oct. 17, 2006; taking over the role from Julie Teer who had been serving as both Political Director and Spokesperson)  Senior Media Associate at The Heritage Foundation, where he focused on National Security issues and Capitol Hill outreach.  Served for 10 months in Iraq as a Senior Press Advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority and later as the Director of the International Press Center in Baghdad.  Young’s Capitol Hill experience includes serving as the Deputy Communications Director for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and in the press office to Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK).  Press Secretary for Inhofe’s re-election campaign in 2002.  B.S. in financial management from Bob Jones University.  Oklahoma native.
Policy Director Sally Canfield
(reported by AP on Feb. 23, 2006; started March 2006)  Policy adviser to House Speaker Dennis Hastert.  Deputy chief of staff for policy at the Department of Homeland Security under Tom Ridge; started working on homeland security in Nov. 2001.  Counselor to Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson.  A domestic policy advisor on Bush's 2000 campaign, primarily focused on health care.  Worked for Rep. Jim McCrery (R-LA) and earlier for Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX).  Government Relations Representative for Caremark International in Chicago.  Graduate of Northwestern University.  Grew up in suburban Chicago.
Finance Director Spencer Zwick
Previously served as deputy chief of staff to Gov. Romney.  Worked on Romney's 2002 campaign.  Worked in marketing for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee.  Attended the University of Utah and graduated from Brigham Young University.
National Finance Advisor Ann Woods Herberger
(announced Oct. 26, 2006 "assist with the national fundraising strategy with a particular focus on Florida.")
From Miami; President of the Woods Herberger Group, which she founded in 1995.  Finance Director on Jeb Bush's successful 1998 gubernatorial campaign; Executive Director of the 1996 Inaugural Committee and Finance Director on Jeb Bush's 2002 re-election campaign.  Vice President of The Alexander Company, a full service fundraising and marketing company in Alexandria, Virginia, for two years starting in 1993.  Took leave from the RNC to serve as the Deputy Finance Director for the Bush-Quayle ’92 re-election campaign.  Western Regional Director for the RNC’s major donor program, 1989-91.  Moved to Washington, DC to work at the RNC for Mary Matalin, National Victory ’88 Political Director and Margaret Alexander, National Victory ’88 Finance Director as a part of the national Victory ’88 finance team.  Began her political career in 1987 with the George Bush for President campaign during the Iowa presidential caucuses.  Native Iowan.
Finance Consultant Don Stirling
Managing partner of Rainmaker Sports & Entertainment in Salt Lake City, Utah.  CEO of the Massachusetts Sports and Entertainment Commission, July 2004-July 2006.  Marketing director for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee.

Sally Bradshaw
(announced Oct. 17, 2006)  Senior Campaign Advisor to the Bush-Brogan 2002 re-election campaign.  Chief of Staff for Gov. Jeb Bush from Jan. 1999 to Dec. 2000.  Managed Jeb Bush's 1998 and 1994 gubernatorial campaigns.  Executive Director of the Foundation for Florida's Future, a non-profit grassroots public policy institute.  Political Director of the Republican Party of Florida, Executive Director of the 1992 Florida Bush-Quayle campaign, and Staff Director for the House Republican Office in Tallahassee.  Has lived in Florida since 1991.  Before moving to Florida, Bradshaw worked at the White House as an Associate Director for the Office of Political Affairs from 1989-91.  Regional field coordinator for the Bush for President campaign in 1988.  Undergraduate degree in political science from George Washington University.

Noam Neusner
(announced Oct. 17, 2006)  Founding principal of Neusner Communications LLC, a firm specializing in strategic communications, speechwriting, and policy-specific writing.  Director of Communications and Strategic Planning for Josh Bolten at the Office of Management and Budget he twice oversaw the editing and production of the federal budget, and managed all communications and media relations; also White House Liaison to the Jewish Community. President George W. Bush's primary speechwriter on domestic policy matters, including tax relief, Medicare reform, and energy, for nearly two years.  Nearly a dozen years experience as a journalist including work at the Tampa Tribune, Bloomberg News, and U.S. News and World Report and has co-authored or edited four books.

Barbara Comstock
(announced Oct. 17, 2006)  Lobbyist and strategic communications consultant at Blank Rome Government Relations LLC; joined as a principal on Oct. 1, 2003; for example she worked with conservative groups on the Supreme Court nominations of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito and served as a Bush/Cheney 2004 media surrogate.  Director of the Office of Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of Justice, under Attorney General John Ashcroft, Jan. 2002-Sept. 2003.  In 2001 she developed the RNC's "Winning Women" communications initiative focusing on outreach to women voters.  In the 2000 election cycle, Comstock served as Director of Research and Strategic Planning at the RNC.  Chief Counsel, Chief Investigative Counsel and Senior Counsel to the House Government Reform Committee, 1995-99.  A senior staffer to Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA).  Professional staff member with the House Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families, 1991. Attorney in private practice in Fairfax County, VA, 1987-90.  J.D. from Georgetown Law School, 1986; A.B. from Middlebury College, 1981.  Comstock has been involved in numerous Republican campaigns and conventions, including serving as a Republican convention delegate and working on the Republican Platform Committee.

Iowa Chairman Doug Gross
(announced May 23, 2006)  Attorney at Brown, Winick, Graves, Gross, Baskerville and Schoenebaum PLC.  The 2002 Republican gubernatorial nominee.  Lawyer and lobbyist.  Chief of staff to Gov. Terry Branstad, 1984-89.  Legislative liaison to Gov. Robert Ray, 1981-83.  Director of the Fuels Division for the Iowa Energy Policy Council.  Chief legislative assistant to Congressman Tom Tauke; worked on Tom Tauke's successful 1978 campaign for Congress.  Law degree from Drake University, 1985.  Bachelor's degree from Iowa Wesleyan College in 1977.  Born in Earling, Iowa (Shelby County).
Treasurer David Kochel
Principal at JDK Marketing & Public Affairs in Des Moines.  Executive Vice President at DCI Group.  Managed Lamar Alexander's 1999-2000 Iowa caucus campaign.  Executive director of the Michigan Republican Party in the latter part of 1996.  Executive director of the Iowa Republican Party, 1995-1996.  Graduate of Iowa State University in Ames with a degree in political science, 1992.

The Commonwealth PAC Iowa Advisory Committee.
On June 17, 2006 Romney announced creation of this group "composed of fifty distinguished Iowa leaders from all across the state."
also June 17, Radio Iowa's O. Kay Henderson reported that Gross announced Romney has hired three staff people to work in Iowa on GOP campaigns.
Advisor House Speaker Christopher Rants
(announced Sept. 27, 2006)  Represents District 54-Sioux City.  First elected to the Iowa Legislature in 1992; elected Speaker Nov. 12, 2002.  B.A. from Morningside College, 1989.

Senior Advisor Tom Rath
(announced Sept. 25, 2006)  Founder of Rath, Young and Pignatelli, P.C.; started in private practice in 1980 and has been involved in government relations since then.  Member of the Republican National Committee; delegate to every Republican National Convention since 1984.  Attorney General of New Hampshire, 1987-90.  Appointed by President George H.W. Bush to be a director of the Legal Services Corporation.  Chaired the campaigns of Sen. Warren Rudman and Sen. Judd Gregg.  Senior advisor to the presidential campaigns of Howard Baker, Robert Dole (1987-88), Lamar Alexander (1995-99) and George W. Bush (1999-2000).  J.D. from Georgetown University Law School, 1971.  B.A. from Dartmouth College, 1967.
Advisor Rich Killion
(announced Sept. 7, 2006)  Vice president of Elevare Communications, a political and strategic communications firm in Concord.  Director of the Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication and director of the Polling Institute at Franklin Pierce.  Campaign manager for Bruce Keough's gubernatorial bid in the 2002 NH Republican primary.  Executive director of N.H.Citizens for a Sound Economy during the 1999-2000 NH primary campaign.  Worked at Franklin Pierce College doing fundraising and college relations and was also was an instructor in the Political Science division and help found the polling center, 1995-99.  B.A. from Stonehill College in No. Easton, MA; M.P.A. from George Mason University.
Chairman of NH Steering Committee Bruce Keough
(announced Sept. 26, 2006)  Principal in Islington Woods LLC, a New Hampshire real estate development company.  New Hampshire Vice Chairman of President Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign.  Candidate for the 2002 Republican nomination for Governor; finished less than 5,000 votes behind winner Craig Benson in the September 10 primary.  Served on the Board of Trustees of the University System of New Hampshire; twice elected chairman.  Elected to the State Senate in 1994, defeating State Senator Beverly Hollingworth; served one term.  Appointed by Gov. Gregg to serve on the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority.  Degrees from Dartmouth College and Yale University.  Born and raised in Berlin, NH.
The Commonwealth PAC NH Steering Committee .
On Oct. 4, 2006 Romney announced creation of this group "consisting of prominent Republicans and business leaders in all ten New Hampshire counties, from Coos to the sea."  (58 people including Keough).
Chairman of The Commonwealth PAC NH Jim Merrill
Member of the Devine Millimet Law firm and is currently serving as legal counsel to the New Hampshire Republican Party.  Prior to joining Devine Millimet, Merrill spent over two years on the staff of former New Hampshire Gov. Stephen E. Merrill.  New Hampshire Field Director for the successful 2000 general election campaign of George W. Bush and New Hampshire Grassroots Co-Chairman for President Bush’s re-election campaign in 2004.  J.D. from Franklin Pierce Law Center, 2001.  B.A. from Gettysburg College, 1994.

Field Director Nic Breeding
(reported by Hotline On Call late June 2006)  Previously deputy political director at the RGA.  Worked for the South Carolina Republican Party in the 2002 cycle.
Field Director George Ramsey 
(reported by Chris Cillizza in The Fix on Aug. 11, 2006)  Campaign manager for State Sen. Greg Ryberg's unsuccessful campaign for state treasurer in the June 2006 primary.  A grassroots manager for Direct Impact, a public affairs company in Alexandria, Virginia.  Political director on then Rep. Jim DeMint's successful 2004 campaign for U.S. Senate.  Native of York County.
Fundraising Consultant Leslie Gaines
(reported by the Spartanburg Herald-Journal late June 2006)

Consultant Katie Packer
Vice president of The Sterling Corporation and director of Sterling's Washington, DC office; joined the firm in 1995.  Worked for two years at the U.S. Department of Energy as a senior advisor to the Secretary.  Chief of staff to Michigan Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus, and managed the 2002 Posthumus for Governor campaign in Michigan.  A senior aide to Sen. Spence Abraham (R-MI) first on Capitol Hill and then as deputy campaign manager of his 2000 campaign.  Director of Senate Majority communications for the Michigan Senate and executive director of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee. Deputy state director for the Dole for President campaign in Michigan, 1996.  Worked on many state legislative campaigns in Michigan.  Graduated in 1990 from Evangel University in Springfield, MO.

75-Person Steering Committee
On Aug. 23, 2006 the Commonwealth PAC announced a 75-person Steering Committee comprising "7 members of President Bush’s Ranger/Pioneer finance team, 37 members of the Michigan House of Representatives, including Speaker Craig DeRoche, grassroots activists who serve as County and District Chairs, and members of the Michigan Republican State Committee.  Other members of the Steering Committee include: Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, Congressman Joe Knollenberg, Peter Karmanos of Detroit-based Compuware and J.C. Huizenga of Grand Rapids."
Co-Chair (announced Aug. 22, 2006) Speaker of the House Craig DeRoche>
Elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2002; elected Speaker in 2005.  Elected to the Novi City Council in 1997; re-elected in 1999.  Regional marketing representative for Safety National Casualty, a workers’ compensation insurer, since 1997.  Graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in finance.
Co-Chair/Finance Committee (announced Aug. 22, 2006) John Rakolta, Jr.
Chairman and CEO of Walbridge Aldinger Company, a Detroit-based construction company.  Started with the company as an estimator in 1970 and took over from his father in 1993.
Co-Chair/Finance Committee (announced Aug. 22, 2006) David Fischer
Chairman and CEO of the Suburban Collection, Michigan's largest vehicle dealership group.  Fischer's father Richard started the Suburban Collection's first dealership in 1948.

Executive Director Phil Musser
(Nov. 2005) 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.  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.  Worked on Dole for President.  B.A. in History from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.
Political Director Gentry Collins
{has also done consulting for the Commonwealth PAC and the Massachusetts Republican State Congressional Committee}
Deputy chairman/executive director of the Iowa Republican Party in 2004.  Managed Doug Gross' 2002 campaign for governor.  B.A. in political science from Iowa State University in Ames, 1998.

Chief of Staff Mark D. Nielsen
(announced Aug. 21, 2006; succeeded Beth Myers who moved over to become Director of The Commonwealth PAC)  Previously Chief Legal Counsel in the Governor's Office since Sept. 2004.  Practiced law in Connecticut.  Republican nominee for Congress in Connecticut's 5th CD in 2000, losing to Rep. James Maloney (53.6% to 44.3%) and in 1998, losing to Maloney (49.9% to 48.4%).  Served two terms in the Connecticut State Senate and one term in the State House, starting in 1993 through 1999.  A.B. from Harvard College, 1986 and J.D. from Harvard Law School, 1989.
Communications Director Eric Fehrnstrom
Joined the Romney campaign in March 2002.  Corporate communications for Hill, Holliday advertising agency.  Media relations for state Treasurer Joseph Malone and campaign manager and communications director on Malone's unsuccessful 1998 campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.  Worked for a decade as a journalist, starting at a Boston-area weekly and then for nine years at the Boston Herald finishing as Statehouse bureau chief.  Graduate of Boston University's College of Communication, 1984.
Counselor Cindy Gillespie
Vice president of federal relations for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee.

Other Senior Staff:
Deputy Chief of Staff Peter Flaherty; Chief Legal Counsel Brian Leske; Senior Legislative Director John O'Keefe.

Top staffers on Romney's 2002 campaign included Ben Coes (campaign manager), Brian Shortsleeve (deputy campaign manager for political operations), Alex Dunn (deputy political director), Martha Chayet (deputy campaign manager for finance).

Former Commonwealth PAC:
Executive Director - Trent Wisecup.
(The Boston Globe reported Jan. 27, 2006 that Wisecup would be taking leave from DC Navigators starting Spring 2006 to work full time as a strategist for Romney; Chris Cillizza reported in The Fix on March 11, 2006 that Wisecup quit after clashes with CoS Beth Myers).  Partner at DC Navigators, announced April 2005.  Policy aide, researcher, and debate preparation strategist on Arnold Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial campaign, 2003.  Vice President at The Murphy Pintak Gautier Hudome Agency (MPGH), where he advised The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and The Financial Services Coordinating Council.  Consulted on Lamar Alexander's U.S. Senate campaign and Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM)'s re-election campaign, 2002.  Media spokesman to former Sen. Spencer Abraham (R-MI), 2000.  Spokesman on Ronna Romney's 1994 and 1996 U.S. Senate campaigns. Worked for Congressman Joe Knollenberg, 1993-99.  Graduate of Michigan State University's James Madison College.

"Top political strategist" - Mike Murphy.
(through the end of 2005) Murphy was consultant on Romney's 2002 campaign.  He was chief political consultant to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and lead strategist for Sen. John McCain's 2000 presidential campaign.  He is a longtime Republican consultant; in 2003 he co-founded Navigators, LLC.  Previously he was founder and principal at The Murphy Pintak Gautier Hudome Agency (MPGH).

Commonwealth PAC/Iowa - Matt Elliott.
(briefly; reported by Chris Cillizza "The Fix" severing ties Feb. 2006) Previously director of Iowa Republicans' Legislative Majority Fund.  Graduated from Drake University with a degree in political science, 2003.  From Farragut, Iowa.

Copyright © 2006  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action