‘LaPolitics:’ Staffed up and ready in governor’s race

The three declared candidates for governor are still in the process of building out their respective staffs as January gives way to February, with the incumbent shouldering the additional burden of having to juggle personnel in his own administration.

The most notable change for Gov. John Bel Edwards comes in the form of Richard Carbo, the former deputy chief who’s now serving as campaign manager. Linda Day, Edwards’ 2015 campaign manager, will be on staff as a senior advisor. Two other veterans from the 2015 race, media consultant Jared Arsement and GOTV constant Ben Jeffers, will be returning to their old posts.

The fresh faces over at Edwards HQ include pollsters John Anzalone and Zach McCrary, digital strategist Julie Ager and finance director Katie Penland, who comes to Team JBE from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. She’ll be working with Emilie Tenenbaum, who has handled the governor’s fundraising since 2016.

Congressman Ralph Abraham’s effort will be led by campaign manager John Vick, who previously worked for U.S. Sen. John Kennedy and the Republican Party of Virginia.

Courtney Alexander, a former staffer for Abraham’s congressional office and U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy’s 2014 campaign, will be taking over as the campaign’s political director, while Bill Skelly and Causeway Solutions will be handling polling and data analysis. As previously reported, Lionel Rainey III will be Abraham’s general consultant, while fundraiser Allee Bautsch Gruenwald will be tasked with keeping the doctor’s war chest full.

Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone has named Bryan Reed as his campaign chief. Reed was previously the deputy political director for U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s 2016 presidential campaign. Sarah Harbison, who formerly worked for U.S. Sen. John Kennedy and Treasurer John Schroder, is the krewe’s new political director, and veteran fundraiser Sally Nungesser will be building the campaign kitty. Tony Fabrizio, who was the chief pollster for President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, will be crunching the numbers for Rispone, too.

They said it: “It seems more like it is going to be the Playoff Bowl,”—U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, about the Super Bowl, on TMZ.

Jeremy Alford publishes LaPolitics Weekly, a newsletter on Louisiana politics, at LaPolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter, or on Facebook. He can be reached at JJA@LaPolitics.com.   

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