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June 22, 2015

America Leads Super PAC Announces Senior Leadership Team

Super PAC Established to Support Governor Chris Christie if He Decides to Run for President

ALEXANDRIA, VA- America Leads, a Super PAC created to support Governor Chris Christie if he decides to run for President, announced today its senior leadership team.

The Super PAC will be led by Phil Cox, former Executive Director of the Republican Governors Association, and one of the nation's leading political strategists. Others involved include some of the leading professionals in their respective fields including Gene Ulm heading up polling; Doug McAuliffe overseeing advertising and media strategy; Paige Hahn in charge of fundraising; Mike Leavitt handling mail; and Kurt Luidhardt with digital.

Speaking about America Leads, Cox remarked, "Governor Christie's record speaks for itself. As governor he has cut spending by $2.3 billion compared to 2008, reduced the size of the state workforce by 8,000 state employees, cut business taxes by $2.3 billion, and capped property taxes. He passed bipartisan pension and health benefit reform and enacted the first teacher tenure reform in New Jersey in more than 100 years. And since he took office, New Jersey has created more than 180,000 private-sector jobs. That's a record of results few can match."

Cox added, "But where the governor perhaps most notably stands apart is in his commitment to speaking directly to the American people. He is putting forward bold policy proposals and then taking every single question people have for him. Governor Chris Christie has the courage to advance substantive new ideas on entitlement and tax reform, national security and education and possesses an unmatched ability to communicate them in an authentic and impactful way. Our team looks forward to bringing the governor's record of results, bold and positive vision for our country, and straightforward and honest leadership style directly to Americans in the months ahead. At a pivotal moment in the history of our nation, Governor Chris Christie is unafraid to lead."

America Leads Team

Phil Cox

Phil has served as a manager, strategist and media consultant to over one hundred political campaigns. The Boston Globe calls Phil "a force for the GOP"; The Washington Times says he's "a Republican Kingmaker"; and Politico named Phil one of its "50 Politicos to Watch."

As Executive Director of the Republican Governors Association, Phil helped raise a record $250 million and led the RGA to 31 governorships following the 2014 cycle, the most in two decades. Under Phil's leadership in 2014, the RGA defended 22 of the 36 governorships on the ballot, including 19 incumbents, and won in nine races in states President Obama won twice. This net gain of governorships included victories in the deep blue states of Maryland, Massachusetts and Illinois and in the competitive swing states of Florida, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The RGA's independent expenditures directed by Phil were credited as key factors in GOP victories in Maryland, Maine, Kansas, and Massachusetts.

In 2012, Phil directed the RGA's $10 million IE that helped Scott Walker become the first governor in history to defeat a recall. And, despite a tough GOP cycle, the RGA successfully defended every incumbent and for the first time in two decades added a Republican governor in North Carolina.

Prior to serving as ED, Phil directed the RGA's political operations in eight states, helping secure victories in Florida and Pennsylvania. In 2009, as campaign manager for Bob McDonnell in Virginia, Phil engineered an historic 18-point gubernatorial landslide just twelve months after President Obama's overwhelming victory.

Doug McAuliffe

Doug McAuliffe is the lead strategist and Creative Director of Doug McAuliffe Strategic + Creative. In 2014 DMS+C helped win three U.S. Senate, five gubernatorial races and 2 House races. Doug's resume includes 31 U.S. Senate, 16 gubernatorial and 21 House victories. His ads have been credited with turning the tide in many competitive races directly aiding in the victories of Jim Bunning in Kentucky, Chuck Hagel and Deb Fisher in Nebraska, Ben Nighthorse Campbell in Colorado, John Thune and Bill Janklow in South Dakota, Bob McDonnell in Virginia, Jon Kyl in Arizona, Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island, Sam Graves in Missouri and Richard Burr and Thom Tillis in North Carolina.

Mike Leavitt

The co-founder of Red Maverick Media, Mike brings extensive experience in political operations, public relations, media affairs, strategy and direct mail to campaigns nationwide. He has been recognized as one of Washington's top political consultants.

In 2014, Mike was instrumental in helping Larry Hogan win the Maryland governor's race despite a 2:1 Democratic registration advantage and being outspent by millions of dollars. As General Consultant to the campaign, he provided day-to-day strategic advice, produced targeted mail, and implemented an aggressive direct mail fundraising program.

Prior to RMM, Mike served as Chief of Staff at the Republican National Committee (RNC), and helped lead Republicans to one of the most successful years ever, winning back the House with 64 seats and gaining 7 seats in the Senate. Prior to serving as Chief of Staff, Mike was the Regional Political Director in the Mid-Atlantic Region and played a key role in the successful Virginia gubernatorial campaign of 2009.

Prior to serving at the National Committee, Mike served as the Vice President of Political Affairs at Freedom's Watch, where he directed all political activities and developed a Political Media Strategy for the Board of Directors. Mike also served as the Deputy National Political Director of John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign and as Campaign Manager for Michael Steele's Senate campaign in 2006.

Gene Ulm

Gene, a partner at Public Opinion Strategies, is one of the Republican Party's leading political strategists and pollsters. Active in Republican campaigns for 30 years, Gene has extensive experience on behalf of numerous successful U.S. Senate, gubernatorial, congressional and state legislative campaigns. In 2014, Gene's premier congressional clients included Paul Ryan (WI), Jeff Denham (CA), and freshmen Mike Bishop (MI), John Moolenar (MI), Bruce Poliquin (ME) and Alex Mooney (WV). He also handled polling for the Republican Governors Association's successful independent expenditure effort in support of Governor Paul LePage in Maine.

J. Tucker Martin

Tucker is a strategic communications, media and crisis management consultant. Tucker's expertise is helping candidates, business leaders and political and corporate organizations develop their brand and message and communicate more effectively.

In 2014, Tucker served as a communications consultant to the Republican Governors Association and was a senior advisor to Ed Gillespie in his campaign for the United States Senate in Virginia. He previously served as former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell's Communications Director, as well as Communications Director for his successful 2009 gubernatorial campaign. He also served as Communications Director during Bob McDonnell's term as Virginia Attorney General, and before that as Deputy Press Secretary for Jerry Kilgore during both his term as Virginia Attorney General and his 2005 gubernatorial campaign.

Paige Hahn

Paige ran all fundraising operations for the Republican Governors Association from 2011 - 2014, a period in which the group raised over $250 million dollars-a new record. Now, as President of Hahn Group, a fundraising firm she founded in 2007, Paige specializes in political fundraising, particularly for 527's, 501c4's, and Super PACs. Over her eighteen-year career, she has worked for numerous high profile political figures and national groups including the RNC, Governor Bob McDonnell, Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Kurt Luidhardt

Kurt is Vice President at The Prosper Group, a digital agency he co-founded in 2006. He has helped grow a company that continues to serve dozens of Republican candidates and advocacy organizations. Past clients include Governors Chris Christie, Scott Walker and Mike Pence and U.S. Senators Ben Sasse, Dan Coats, and Mike Enzi.

Before starting Prosper Group, Kurt managed large government consulting projects for Nexpointe Strategies where he lobbied Congress on behalf of the Indiana Attorney General and the do not call law, and helped draft the state's energy plan. He also served as Manager of Political Affairs for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce where he managed campaigns for pro-business candidates.

Cara Edmundowicz

Cara Edmundowicz joins the America Leads team fresh off a five-year stint at the Republican Governors Association (RGA), where she ran the (individual) major donor program and also specialized in the RGA's Capital Campaign, building the organization's base of $250K+ level donors. Cara worked very closely with Governor Chris Christie in these roles especially in 2013-2014 when Christie served as RGA Chairman. Cara also serves as President of 1735 Group, LLC, a fundraising firm she founded in Washington, D.C. A native St. Louisan, she came to D.C. to obtain her B.A. from The George Washington University's (GWU) School of Media and Public Affairs, and also received her M.A. in Political Management from The George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management. 

Contact: Tucker Martin
Email: Tucker@Americaleads.com
Date: June 22, 2015