GOP comms vets join forces

WASHINGTON: Four Republican communication veterans have formed HDMK, a new strategic communications firm.

WASHINGTON: Four Republican communication veterans have formed HDMK, a new strategic communications firm.

The new firm consists of Terry Holt, former spokesperson for current House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH); Trent Duffy, a recent former White House deputy press secretary; Jim Morrell, former deputy chief of staff to the House Republican Conference; and Chad Knowlton, former head of public affairs for the Director of National Intelligence and FEMA.

The four principals had previously been operating their own DC-area public affairs shops. Duffy said the union will not only provide clients with more manpower, but a broader range of experience.

"It's not only quantity, but quality and expanding the breadth of our experience," he said. "We each are very good at what we do, but we have specialties ranging from foreign policy to domestic policy to campaign policy, so we really just have a much broader range."

Initial clients for the agency include America's Health Insurance Plans, the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, and the Real Estate Roundtable.

Recent clients of Holt, who served as the national campaign spokesperson for President George W. Bush in his 2004 bid for re-election, also include the labor-backed organization Wal-Mart Watch.

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