Manchin Staffs Up: West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has hired Emily Bittner to be his communications director. Bittner most recently worked as the spokeswoman of the Democratic Governors Association in the last cycle. "Emily is uniquely qualified for this work," Manchin said. "She grew up in West Virginia, she is sharp, hard-working, and she understands how to communicate a commonsense approach to government." Bittner has also worked in Arizona as both a political reporter -- for the Arizona Republic -- and flack -- for the Arizona Democratic Party. The Starting Five We're always evolving here at the Starting Lineup, and launching our new daily feature where we'll highlight the five political stories that caught our eye and you need to read. 1. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is seeking to delay a vote on reforming Senate filibuster rules, as the effort's leader -- Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) takes his case to the pages of the Washington Post. 2. The race to succeed Haley Barbour as governor of Mississippi is officially on. Three candidates filed paperwork for the race on Monday. They are Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, Republican businessman Dave Dennis and Democratic businessman Bill Luckett. Bryant starts out as the clear early frontrunner, thanks to his ties to the popular governor. 3. Former New Mexico Rep. Heather Wilson (R) is considering a challenge to Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D). She appeared to be hinting at a campaign a while ago. If she ran, Wilson would be Republicans top contender to take on Bingaman - but would likely get challenged from the right, thanks to her moderate profile from her days in the House. 4. Outgoing New Hampshire GOP Chair John Sununu endorsed Cheshire County Republican Chairwoman Juliana Bergeron to succeed him and roundly criticized a Tea Party activist also running for the post. 5. The Indiana GOP selected Eric Holcomb, a longtime aide and former campaign manager for Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) as chairman.
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