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Three Pennsylvanians Named to Campaigns & Elections Mag’s 2011 Rising Stars List

Mark Harris, campaign manager for Pat Toomey’s successful bid for the United States Senate, and Matthew Weaver, whose direct mail expertise has benefitted a range of Democratic clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, were named to Campaigns & Elections Magazine’s prestigious Rising Stars list, the publication announced today.

Their inclusion on the list puts them in rare air among political consultants, as the cadre of fellow Rising Stars alums includes David Axelrod, James Carville, Alex Castellanos and Mike Murphy.

Harris has steadily made a name for himself in the Keystone State since serving as an unpaid youth coordinator for Toomey’s first U.S. Senate run in 2004.  He worked for current presidential aspirant Herman Cain’s Senate campaign the same year.  He ran for the state House in 2006, shocking many by knocking off five-term incumbent Tom Stevenson in the GOP primary and outperforming the party’s candidates for U.S. Senate and Governor.  Harris also managed Chris Hackett’s congressional campaign in the 10th District in 2008.

“I’m honored to be among such a great group of operatives,” he told PoliticsPA, which named him to its own Top Operatives list last December.  Harris, who formed Cold Spark Media with fellow GOP consultant Mike DeVanney last year, is currently serving as lead consultant for Mount Lebanon Commissioner D. Raja’s campaign for Allegheny County Executive.

Weaver, whose business partner Michael Bronstein – the two formed Bronstein & Weaver a few years ago – was named a C&E Rising Star last year, has handled direct mail and a range of other services for state Representative Tony Payton and State Senators Jim Brewster and Tim Solobay.  The firm’s work on Payton’s 2008 reelection campaign earned them Politics Magazine’s Reed Award for “Best Bare-Knuckled Street Fight Victory.”

More recently, the firm did work in Schuylkill County for Court of Common Pleas candidate Jim Goodman, who won both the Democratic and Republican nominations on May 17, and State Representative Chelsa Wagner’s successful bid for the Democratic county controller nomination in Allegheny County.

Allow us to apologize for being remiss – we included in the list folks who were based in PA, but neglected to mention on who hails from the Keystone state and does work in the state from D.C.:

Brock McCleary, 35, is deputy political director at the National Republican Congressional Committee, where he served as Northeast political director for the 2010 cycle and oversaw the pickup of fourteen U.S. House seats across the region.

Click here to read the full 2011 Rising Stars list.

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