Eyeing 2016, Governor Walker adds veteran operatives to political team
(CNN) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has hired several more key operatives to staff a new political committee that he recently established as he considers a run for the Republican presidential nomination, CNN has learned.
Kirsten Kukowski, deputy communications director/press secretary for the Republican National Committee, will serve as communications director for Walker’s “Our American Revival” and several members of the Tarrance Group will conduct polling and provide strategic political advice to the governor.
Ed Goeas, president and CEO of Tarrance, will serve as a senior adviser, while partner Brian Tringali and senior vice president B.J. Martino will oversee polling. Tringali and Martino have worked for Walker in his previous gubernatorial campaigns.
In addition, Mark Stephenson, who worked on Joni Ernst’s successful Iowa Senate campaign among others, has signed on as Walker’s chief data officer.
The hiring of the new political personnel is the latest sign that Walker is more than just exploring a run for the White House. Already, the Wisconsin governor had hired Rick Wiley as executive director, Matt Mason as political director and David Polyansky as senior Iowa adviser for the committee.
In a handful of speeches over the past few weeks, Walker has sought to distinguish himself from a crowded field of Republicans interested in seeking their party’s presidential nomination. The Wisconsin governor always take the opportunity to distance himself from Washington and often notes that it is time for the Republican Party to turn to a fresh face. Walker is 47 years old.
Having served as RNC press secretary since 2011, Kukowski is well-known among the national press corps. Prior to joining the national committee, she worked on the 2008 McCain presidential campaign, Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk’s election in 2010 and as the spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Republican Party. She will spend the next month transitioning from her position at the RNC to her new role at “Our American Revival.”
Walker’s new hires are expected to be announced on Tuesday.