A communications staffer for Republican Idaho senators and Lt. Gov. Brad Little will now help the state GOP efforts to elect Rep. Raul Labrador of Eagle to Congress. Phil Hardy was the communications director for Senate Republicans the past two years and had worked for the lieutenant governor when the Legislature was out of session. He was also outspoken during a meeting at the state convention this past weekend over proposed GOP resolutions.
“Elections matter and never more so than in 2010, therefore I look forward to adding my efforts to those within the Idaho Republican Party who wish to keep Idaho a bastion of limited government and fiscal conservatism,” Hardy said in a news release.
Hardy will work for the Idaho Republican Party as a victory director, where his primary focus will be the Labrador campaign. He replaces Lindsay Hemmer, who had been announced as victory director, but didn’t accept the job due to personal reasons, according to party executive director Jonathan Parker.
“I am sure Phil’s understanding and experience working with both the media and with scores of elected leaders in Idaho will prove to be a key asset in securing Republican victories in Idaho in 2010,” Parker said.
The victory director position reports to the state party and is funded by the Republican National Committee (RNC), which focuses on congressional races over state-level contests. The RNC is also funding a field director in north Idaho, Jeff Field. Parker said the party is considering adding a paid staffer in north central Idaho to help Labrador’s efforts to unseat Democrat Walt Minnick.
It’s not unusual for legislative staffers to switch jobs and work on election campaigns. Minnick’s campaign manager, John Foster, worked in Minnick’s congressional office until switching to the campaign earlier this year.
Hardy was a vocal member of a GOP committee considering resolutions at the party convention in Idaho Falls, pointing out that several resolutions would conflict with state laws or policies. Hardy helped kill a resolution that would have asked public schools not to require students to be immunized. He also opposed a resolution asking Republican lawmakers to nullify new federal health care laws that the state is fighting in court.