Thompson staffs up with a 2009 Bloomberg consultant and a 2012 Obama aide
Bill Thompson announced today that he has hired a prominent Democratic consultant who, four years ago, worked against him.
Consultant Hank Sheinkopf will join Thompson's 2013 campaign as a "senior strategist," according to a statement from the campaign announcing a number of hires. The announcement made no mention of Sheinkopf's 2009 work.
"He has also served as a strategic advisor to scores of campaigns at every level in his home state including the upset victories of New York State Attorney General Elliot Spitzer and New York City Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum. He has also been involved in electing nearly half of the New York City congressional delegation.."
In 2009, Michael Bloomberg's high-spending re-election campaign went on a hiring spree, in the course of spending more than $100 million, dwarfing Thompson's expenditures on the way to a four-point victory.
Back in February, it was reported that Sheinkopf would join the Thompson campaign as "a consultant." Later, it was announced that the lead consultant on the campaign would be Jonathan Prince, a hire that was praised by one of Bloomberg's top operatives as a quality choice.
Sheinkopf worked on Thompson's 2001 race for comptroller, and his 2005 re-election race.
Also joining the Thompson campaign is communications director John Collins, who worked for two of Thompson's likely rivals: Christine Quinn and Anthony Weiner.
Collins got his start in New York with Sheinkopf, and worked for Betsy Gotbaum, who is a key backer of Thompson and helping him raise money. After abruptly leaving Weiner's congressional staff, Collins departed New York and worked as a political consultant for various campaigns.
Also joining Thompson is political director Kim Ramos, who helped elect Adriano Espaillat to the New York State Senate. Espaillat's will be one of the more sought-after mayoral endorsements this year.
The field director will be Will Leaverton, who was the deputy national GOTV director and national regional field director for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign last year.
UPDATE: Sheinkopf, in response to my inquiries about his work in 2009 and 2013 campaign work, emailed to say, "I am not in the policy business. I am a political consultant. The 2009 campaign filings describe work done for that campaign as the 2001 filings describe work done in Bill Thompson's comptroller campaign upset victory."
UPDATE: The full announcement from Thompson's campaign is here:
Bill Thompson for Mayor Announces Key Hires
(New York, NY) – The Bill Thompson for Mayor Campaign today announced key hirings as it brings in top-level staffers with deep experience in politics and government.
Chief Strategist Jonathan Prince said, "One of our top priorities has been to build a campaign team that reflects Bill's experience, ability, and commitment to be a Mayor for every neighborhood of New York. The people who are joining our team today are proven strategists and organizers with experience here and nationally, from New York City government to the Obama and Clinton campaigns."
Hank Sheinkopf has been hired as a senior strategist. Sheinkopf has been a political and governmental relations consultant for nearly 30 years. He was a member of President Clinton’s re-election media team, producing ads for the only Democratic president re-elected since FDR. He has also served as a strategic advisor to scores of campaigns at every level in his home state including the upset victories of New York State Attorney General Elliot Spitzer and New York City Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum. He has also been involved in electing nearly half of the New York City congressional delegation..
Karine Jean-Pierre brings a wealth of experience from the world of politics and communications to the campaign as Senior Advisor. She served as Deputy Battleground States Director for President Barack Obama’s 2012 Reelection and as Northeast Political Director in the White House, where she managed the President and Vice President’s political interaction in 12 northeast states.
Frank Thomas joins the campaign as Deputy Campaign Manager. Born and raised in New York City, Thomas managed Congresswoman Kathy Hochul’s 2012 red-district re-election bid in Upstate New York and served as Deputy Press Secretary for the New York City Dept. of Education.
The campaign also announced the hiring of John Collins as Communications Director and Amber Greene as Policy Director. Collins will leave his post at Wright Strategies, a strategic and digital communications firm, to join the team. He has run two citywide communications offices and is a veteran of four statewide campaigns across the country. Greene joins the campaign from GMMB in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, she was the director of the Ready New York campaign at the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM), where sheled the City’s efforts to promote preparedness. Greene also worked for the Chair of the New York State Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions on legislation, public authority reform, and eminent domain policy.
Kim Ramos will serve as Political Director. Kim is an experienced political strategist and attorney with extensive ties to New York’s elected officials and numerous political figures, including Fernando Ferrer, State Assembly Members Adriano Espaillat and Jose Peralta, Council Members Maria Del Carmen Arroyo and Julissa Ferraras, and many others. In 2010, Kim served as campaign manager for Adriano Espaillat's successful campaign for State Senate.
Will Leaverton joins the campaign as Field Director. He most recently served as Deputy National GOTV Director and National Regional Field Director for Obama 2012. As part of the national field team, Will oversaw field operations in 19 states including New York, Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. Prior to that, Will served as the Southern Regional Field Director for the DCCC and has worked on numerous successful campaigns that included Congressman Bill Owens and former Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas.
“We are proud to be building an experienced team that will aggressively campaign in every community in every corner of the city,” said Prince. “New Yorkers have benefited from Bill’s career in public service, including his leadership of the Board of Education and his successful tenure as the City Comptroller. As Mayor he will use his experience and leadership to deliver for all New Yorkers.”