Alumni make marks on campaign trails

As the 2012 election season approaches high gear, several alumni are making waves on the campaign trail as staffers for national candidates or by running for office themselves.

Political reporter and Elliott School of International Affairs alumna Kasie Hunt will cover the Republican presidential primary at her new gig with the Associated Press. Hunt previously covered the campaigns for Politico.

“I’ve traveled with almost all of the declared 2012 Republican presidential candidates as well as with Sarah Palin, who has yet to say whether she’ll run,” Hunt, who graduated in 2006, said. She minored in political communication while studying at GW and also held internships at NBC News, National Journal and USA Today.

New Gingrich’s spokesman, R.C. Hammond, graduated from GW in 2002 with a degree in political communication. While he handles the messaging for the former speaker of the House of Representatives, alumna Katie Hogan is fielding the challenges against President Barack Obama as the deputy press secretary for Obama’s reelection campaign. Hogan earned a political science degree at the University in 2006.

Republican presidential candidate and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman hired Tim Miller, a 2004 School of Media and Public Affairs graduate, as his national press secretary.

Alumnus Michael Ray Huerta is running for mayor in his New Mexico hometown of Las Cruces. The former Colonial Cabinet member attended the Elliott School and also ran for Student Association president in 2007. Huerta, a Democrat, graduated in 2008.

Fellow Elliott School alumna Tammy Duckworth is vying for the congressional seat in Illinois’s 8th District. Obama tapped Duckworth as an assistant secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs in February 2009 and in October of that year, former Secretary of State Colin Powell presented her the inaugural Colin Powell Public Service Award. Duckworth received her master’s in international affairs in 1992 and later served in the Iraq war, losing both her legs and partial mobility in an arm when her helicopter was shot down.

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