By Elyse Clonan, Contributing Writer
The new, redrawn map of Pennsylvania congressional districts unveiled last month will be pitting two Democratic incumbents head-to-head in a primary election. The fourth district, represented by Jason Altmire and the twelfth district, represented by Mark Critz were combined in the plan approved by the Republican-controlled PA state legislature.
The candidates have wasted little time putting together their campaigns. Altmire announced his team last week.
In a press release Tuesday Critz said his race would be spearheaded by campaign manager Tony Coppola.
“We hired the best and the brightest in this business, all of whom have track record of winning tough election fights,” Critz said.
Here’s the run down from their press release:
Campaign Manager – Tony Coppola
Tony Coppola brings experience in managing races from the local to the Congressional level. Most recently, Coppola guided Mark Padgett for Mayor campaign in Knoxville, TN. Prior to the Padgett campaign, Coppola managed the Lori Edwards for Congress campaign and the Jim Wansacz for State Senate campaign in Scranton, PA. He also has significant experience in Western Pennsylvania, having served as the Lead Field Organizer America Votes in Western PA in 2006, and as Field Director for Patrick Dowd’s successful campaign for Pittsburgh City Council.
Strategic Consultant – Mike Mikus
Mike Mikus, a native of Western Pennsylvania, is returning to the Critz campaign. He has been involved in politics in campaigns for 18 years running campaigns ranging from mayoral to gubernatorial races. Mikus has extensive experience in Western Pennsylvania having run the successful special election campaign for Mark Critz in 2010 and serving has his strategic consultant in the general election in the fall. In 2011, Mikus served as campaign manager for Rich Fitzgerald’s successful campaign for County Executive. He also served as Jason Altmire’s campaign manager in his first re-election campaign in 2008.
Pollster – Global Strategy Group
Global Strategy Group is a public affairs and polling firm with clients in all levels of government from coast-to-coast, including U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. GSG’s extensive experience in Pennsylvania includes former Congressman and Attorney General candidate Patrick Murphy, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and the Pennsylvania House Democratic Campaign Committee.
Media Consultant – Murphy Vogel Askew Reilly
Murphy Vogel Askew Reilly is a national Democratic media firm with a proven record of winning tough Congressional and statewide races. Over the past two cycles the firm has won four Congressional Special Elections including electing Mark Critz in 2010 and most recently Kathy Hochul in Western New York. MVAR has extensive experience in Pennsylvania politics and is part of Senator Casey’s media team.
Direct Mail – Mack Crounse Group
Mack/Crounse Group (MCG) is the “go to” direct mail firm for candidates, party committees, labor unions and progressive organizations. Using cutting-edge design and advanced micro-targeting, MCG delivers your message and helps win the toughest campaigns. Partner Kevin Mack is from Western Pennsylvania. His current and previous clients include Senator Bob Casey, Governor Ed Rendell, Congressman John Murtha, Congressman Mark Critz, the Pennsylvania State Democratic Committee, Pennsylvania House Democratic Campaign Committee and Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Campaign Committee. He also works for the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, SEIU, IAFF, NEA, UAW, UFCW and many other labor unions and organizations.
Fundraising – The Angerholzer Team
The Angerholzer Team is a fundraising and political fundraising firm that specializes in House Politics. Lindsay Angerholzer, President of the firm has been in democratic fundraising for over 10 years and has experience working with a diverse group of Democratic House Members. In recent years she has worked on a variety of Pennsylvania races including, but not limited to the Congressional races for Former Congressman Patrick Murphy, and Congressman Jason Altmire.