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Chris Coleman hires campaign team, but for which campaign?

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman has kicked his election campaign into high gear by hiring experienced consultants who have worked for many top DFLers, including Sen. Al Franken.

Coleman is running for reelection as mayor in November and doesn’t have a DFL challenger. His only serious opponent, Eva Ng, has business experience but has never run for office. So in the highly DFL city, it would seem that Coleman could start ordering new drapes for the mayor’s office overlooking the Mississippi River without having to hire such a high-powered team.

Oh, wait. He’s thinking of running for governor next year, too. So this fall’s campaign might be considered a pre-season game (or fall training) for his new team.

The three consultants are:

  • Media consultant Mandy Grunwald, who has a long and successful history as a Democratic campaign adviser, first rising to prominence as a media consultant in Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign and later founding Grunwald Communications. She knows Minnesota well, having served as media adviser for the successful U.S. Senate campaigns of Franken, Amy Klobuchar and Paul Wellstone.
  • Pollster Diane Feldman, the founder and president of The Feldman Group. Campaigns and Elections magazine calls Feldman “an insightful analyst” known for her “maverick winning ways.” In Feldman’s 20 years of experience she has worked in Minnesota often: she has polled for Franken, Wellstone, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, the House DFL Caucus. She has conducted presidential polling in the state as well.
  • New-media consultant Jon-David Schlough, who’s worked in interactive marketing and new media in and around Minnesota. He left the private sector in February 2007 to serve as the Al Franken for Senate interactive media director before founding his own interactive-media firm, Well and Lighthouse LLC.

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