Former governor Terry Branstad has added to his campaign team. Branstad has hired long-time Republican operative Tim Albrecht to lead his gubernatorial campaign’s communications department. Albrecht, who most recently served as the American Future Funds communication director, brings a wealth of campaign and legislative experience to his new position with Branstad’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign.
Like many political operatives in Iowa, Albrecht got his start at a young age volunteering for a presidential campaign (Pat Buchanan) in advance of the Iowa caucuses. During the 2000 caucuses, Albrecht organized 33 counties for Steve Forbes in the northwest corner of the state. Following the 2000 caucuses, Albrecht worked on Dick Johnson’s congressional campaign, Steve Sukup’s gubernatorial campaign, and Greg Ganske’s U.S. Senate campaign. Albrecht is most known for his work as Mitt Romney’s Iowa communications director during the 2008 caucuses. After Iowa, Albrecht traveled the country with the campaign before Romney dropped out of the race on February 7th.
Before joining the Romney campaign, Albrecht served as the communications director for then-Speaker of the Iowa House, Christopher Rants. Albrecht served in that position for four years. Albrecht’s wife is now the communications director for House Republican leader Kraig Paulsen. Rants and Albrecht were very tight. In 2006, Rants selected Albrecht to serve as the House Majority Fund director, a position which oversaw all the Republican State House campaigns that year. Last month, Rants gave the blessing before the meal at Albrecht’s wedding. All of this makes it somewhat surprising that Albrecht is now working for one of Rants’ gubernatorial opponents.
Albrecht is a valuable addition to the Branstad campaign. Not only does he have great relationships with most of the reporters across the state, but he also brings extensive knowledge of legislative issues from the time during which Branstad was out of office. He will also probably be asked to use his contacts with activists and current and former legislators to help out with Branstad’s statewide organization.
Albrecht also brings with him a good understanding of how to use new-media sources to impact news cycles. In addition to his political work, Albrecht is the founder of TheBeanWalker.com, an Iowa-specific news aggregator modeled off of the Drudge Report. TheBeanWalker.com links to the top news stories of the day and, occasionally, various entries from blogs and other new-media sources. The site has allowed Albrecht to keep good relations with various reporters while filtering the news for the readers of TheBeanWalker.com.
The American Future Fund, Albrecht’s former employer sent out the following statement today.
“We are excited for Tim as he embarks on this new opportunity,” said American Future Fund Board President Sandy Greiner. “As AFF has become one of the nation’s leading conservative grassroots advocacy groups, Tim’s energy and focus helped us grow and expand by sharing our message across the country. We wish him well in his new endeavor; he will be missed.”
He leaves as The American Future Fund begins a massive advertising campaign targeting Democrats on health care.
Albrecht has emerged as one of the top communications operatives in the state. What sets him apart from his colleagues is his well-rounded political resume, connections to grassroots activists, and his knowledge of how to use new media sources. Albrecht joins former Republican Party of Iowa Executive Director Jeff Boeyink, who is Branstad’s campaign manager.
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