It looks like rather than take a new tack, Joe prefers to stick with someone he knows. I expect that we'll see more of the same from Joe, rather than learning from his mistakes of the past. That's good news for Gary Peters, his expected opponent in the 2008 general election. This being Joe's last campaign, I'm glad Joe at least isn't going to turn into a Mitt Romney flip-flopper. Oh, did I mention Joe endorsed Romney?
Rep. Knollenberg hires top aide
U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg, R-Bloomfield Hills, announced today that he's hired a new chief of staff, Craig Albright, who's worked in Republican politics since the mid-1990s and who's also getting ready to be a first-time dad.
Knollenberg is expected to face another barnburner of a race. He's targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He'll face the winner of the Democratic match between former Michigan lottery commissioner Gary Peters and Nancy Skinner, who held Knollenberg to an unimpressive 52-percent victory in 2006.
The already hot feelings in the race were captured on video and posted on YouTube in October. Knollenberg's chief of staff at the time, Trent Wisecup, got into a testy exchange with a camera-wielding anti-war activist. The video has now been watched 47,696 times. Afterwards, Wisecup announced he had gone on paid medical leave to seek treatment for a mood-swing disorder. Knollenberg's office said Wisecup is no longer employed either on the congressional or campaign staff.
"I'm excited to have Craig on board," Knollenberg said in a statement. "He's a true professional and effective at getting things done. It's rare to find someone with extensive knowledge of both my congressional district and Washington, DC."
Albright grew up in Birmingham and has a BA in economics from Michigan State University.
He worked as a legislative aide in the Michigan state legislature before Knollenberg hired him from 1997 to 2005 (including as campaign manager in 2002). He then worked for Vice President Cheney as deputy assistant for legislative affairs and for President Bush as special assistant for legislative affairs.