The arrival of 2010 has put U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln in full campaign mode, not a minute too soon.
She was on KARN radio this morning (she disapproved of the special deal Ben Nelson cut for Nebraska on the health bill). She's scheduled public appearances all over (LR Kiwanis and Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce today.)
And when you have $6 million or so in campaign cash, with millions more to come, you can afford a sizable payroll. To wit:
LINCOLN NEWS RELEASE
Little Rock - U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln said today her election campaign has entered a new and exciting operational phase that includes several talented aides, an expanding corps of enthusiastic volunteers and establishment of a campaign headquarters at Little Rock's historic Union Station.
"As we look ahead to this election year, I am building a campaign team that will help me make a difference for Arkansas," Lincoln said. "They each share my Arkansas values and know how important it is to me that we conduct a positive, aggressive campaign that competes for every vote."
Lincoln said that her responsibilities as the state's senior U.S. Senator and Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee will continue to have priority but she will devote as much personal time to the campaign as is humanly possible.
"I know I am accountable to the people of Arkansas and whether I am traveling the state or voting in Washington, our staff and volunteers will be working continually to help our state and achieve our goals," Lincoln said.
Lincoln said her first election year goal is to communicate directly with more Arkansas voters than ever before. "I realize that the national Republicans have put a target on my back so we have our work cut out for us. But nobody asked me to take this job. I do it because I think I am best able to help Arkansas."
Lincoln said that Steve Patterson will once again lead her 2010 campaign effort. Patterson served for eight years as her former House and Senate Chief of Staff and managed Lincoln's two previous successful Senate campaigns in 1998 and 2004. Patterson, a partner at CDP Strategies, LLC, will serve as general consultant and manager of the campaign.
"I am honored that Senator Lincoln has placed her confidence in me once again," Patterson said. "I have never met a more dedicated public servant and we are all eager to put the campaign into another gear."
Lincoln said her campaign will continue to grow throughout the year. She said a campaign headquarters grand opening will be slated for the future, along with opening of field offices throughout the state.
She listed the following additional members of her current campaign team as of January 4:
Maurice Rigsby, Deputy Campaign Manager and GOTV Consultant
Rigsby, a native of Rosston in Nevada County, most recently served as Deputy Director of the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission. He is also a former staff attorney for the Arkansas Bureau of Legislative Research and is a veteran of Lincoln's 1998 and 2004 campaigns. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 2003 and is a former member of the U.S. Army Reserves.
Katie Laning Niebaum, Communications Director and Spokesperson
Niebaum, a Little Rock native, has worked in Lincoln's Washington Senate office since 2003, serving as Communications Director since 2006.
David Oberembt, Field Director
Oberembt has successfully managed statewide field operations predominantly in rural states like Montana and Colorado, and served as organizer and director in six states for the Obama Presidential Campaign in 2007-2008.
Amanda Daugherty, State Finance Director
A native of El Dorado, Daugherty served in this capacity for Lincoln's 2004 campaign. She also served as a fund raising assistant for Senator Mark Pryor's 2002 campaign and as State Finance Director for Pryor in 2008. Daugherty is a partner at CDP Strategies, LLC.
Jennifer Yocham Poersch, National Finance Director
Poersch is the founder of JYP Consulting based in Washington, D.C. She has led fund raising efforts for a variety of Democratic Presidential Candidates, Senators, Members of Congress, Governors, party committees and political organizations.
Tyler Douse, Director of New Media and Research
Most recently, Douse served as Research Assistant in Senator Lincoln's Washington office. In 2008, he worked as web manager and policy coordinator for Oklahoma State Senator Andrew Rice's campaign for U.S. Senate.
Cydney Pearce, Finance Compliance Director
A native of Helena, Pearce has worked on every Lincoln campaign since 1992. She has also served on Senator Lincoln's Senate staff in Arkansas as special projects coordinator since 1999. She currently resides in Maumelle.
Donell Meadows, Field Assistant
A native of McGehee, Meadows was recently named by the Democratic Party of Arkansas as the Harold Jenkins Democratic Man of the Year in 2009. He is a veteran of Arkansas Democratic politics, serving as special assistant to the Chairman of the party from 2005-2008.
Matthew Morris, Operations Assistant
A recent graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Morris is a native of Fayetteville and formerly interned in Lincoln's Washington Senate office. He was a volunteer on Governor Mike Beebe's 2006 gubernatorial campaign.
Stella Ross, Deputy National Finance Director
Ross helps manage national fund raising events for Senator Lincoln. She served on the fund raising team for Senator Claire McCaskill's (Mo.) successful 2008 campaign for U.S. Senate and led fund raising efforts for Democratic candidates for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Andrea Brault, National Finance Assistant
Brault coordinates fund raising events and logistics for the campaign. Brault previously served on the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's finance staff.