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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / Campaign 2012

Meet Team Perry -- PICTURES

November 11, 2011

Rick Perry has two kinds of advisers: Longtime aides who have guided him to the top of Texas politics in the last decade, and recent additions recruited because they have the national political experience necessary for a serious presidential campaign. In the gallery below, take a look at who's who in Perry's campaign for the Republican nomination.

Dave Carney, Senior Strategist The architect of Perry's presidential campaign, Carney is a longtime GOP strategist who once worked as a policy adviser to George H.W. Bush. Carney has advised Perry since his 1988 run for lieutenant governor in Texas, and has helped him win three gubernatorial elections in the Lone Star State. The consultant, who is based in New Hampshire, originally was set to work for Next Gingrich's campaign, but he quit when the former House speaker's candidacy turned south and Perry began showing interest in the White House.(HARRY CABLUCK/AP)

Deirdre Delisi, Policy Director Perry's policy and strategy director has a long history with the governor. She has been with Perry since 1997 as policy adviser, manager of his 2002 gubernatorial campaign, and chief of staff from 2004 to 2007, when she worked on tort reform, Medicaid reform, border security, and education issues. Perry appointed her to be chairwoman of the Texas Transportation Commission in 2008, where she remained until joining the campaign earlier this year. Delisi was also on the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush in 2000 and Lamar Alexander in 1996.(HARRY CABLUCK/AP)

Joe Allbaugh, Senior Adviser One of an influx of staffers to join the campaign last month as it sought to rebound from a difficult September, Allbaugh might be the most significant addition. He managed Bush's presidential campaign in 2000 and was later appointed FEMA director. He was running a disaster-planning consulting service before being recalled to political duty by Perry, whom he has known for years. Allbaugh might not officially be the campaign's new manager, but he is expected to play a significant role.(HARRY CABLUCK/AP)


Rob Johnson, Campaign Manager Perry's campaign manager began this presidential cycle running the campaign of another GOP contender: Newt Gingrich. But Johnson, along with Carney, left in June to join Perry's team. As a longtime Texas operative, he was familiar with Perry. Johnson ran current Texas Lt. Gov David Dewhurst's campaign in 2002 and became Dewhurst's chief of staff.(KRISTOFFER TRIPPLAAR)

Mike Toomey, Super PAC Director Toomey formed "Make Us Great Again," a pro-Perry super PAC, about a month before Perry formally declared his presidential bid in August. He and Perry go back a ways—he has known the Texas governor since they served in the state House together. Recently he has worked as a lobbyist, taking a brief break in 2003 to serve as Perry's chief of staff. Perry's ties to Toomey came into question in 2007 when Perry signed an executive order mandating that teenage girls receive the vaccine against human papillomavirus. At the time, Merck—a pharmaceutical company that employed Toomey as a lobbyist—made the only vaccine.(HARRY CABLUCK/AP)

Katon Dawson, S.C. Consultant Perry picked up a South Carolina kingmaker when he secured former state Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson to advise his campaign. Dawson signed on with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for the 2012 cycle but was one of the staff members—along with Carney and Johnson—who quit in June. During his three terms as party chairman, he was known as a prolific fundraiser who helped solidify the party's dominant status in the state.(ROGER L. WOLLENBERG/UPI)


Robert Haus, Iowa adviser Haus met Perry about 15 years ago when he was working for Sen. Phil Gramm's presidential campaign in Iowa and Perry came to stump for his fellow Texan. Now, the communications professional is cochairing Perry's campaign in the state. He also consulted on Steve Forbes's campaign a decade ago, was Fred Thompson's Iowa executive director in 2008, and has since worked as a consultant and media adviser.(CHARLIE NEIBERGALL/AP)

Dirk Van Dongen, D.C. Influential Van Dongen, who is president of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, is helping to introduce the Texas governor to Washington insiders. He has cohosted a pair of Perry fundraisers and held a meet-and-greet with Perry and the K Street crowd at his association's offices. In addition to fundraising, Van Dongen is providing political advice to the campaign. He was Washington fundraising for Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign and was a top bundler for both of George W. Bush's runs for the White House.(RICHARD A. BLOOM)

Matt Keelen, D.C Influential A Republican lobbyist, Keelen is fundraising for the Perry campaign and is using his contacts as a former political consultant to help the campaign reach out to House members. On his firm's website, Keelen notes that he has helped more than 50 House and Senate lawmakers get to Washington.(RICHARD A. BLOOM)


Douglas Feith, Foreign-Policy Adviser Feith is a well-known neoconservative intellectual who served under Donald Rumsfeld as deputy undersecretary of Defense; he is considered a chief architect of the Iraq war. He reportedly met with the Perry campaign for a foreign-policy briefing in July.(RICHARD A. BLOOM)

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