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Senate Republicans hire Cox to help with next year's elections

Anita Kumar

Republicans looking to take back control of the state Senate have agreed to hire Gov. Bob McDonnell's top political adviser to help them with next year's crucial elections.

Phil Cox, McDonnell's campaign manager during his gubernatorial race, who now serves as head of his political action committee and a senior adviser to the governor, will sign on to be a general consultant to the Senate Republican caucus after the November election.

The details have yet to be worked out, but the goal is clear: Help the GOP pick up at least three seats, giving them 21 seats and the majority, which they lost to Democrats in 2007 halfway through Gov. Tim Kaine's term.

The caucus hired a different consultant four years ago, but now that a Republican occupies the governor's mansion it should make things easier for the party. McDonnell has also been stockpiling cash raised at his own fundraisers as he looks to next year's legislative races.

Jeff Ryer, a spokesman for the Senate Republicans and another new addition to the caucus payroll, says senators made the decision to keep mum on McDonnell's ABC privatization plan long before they decided to hire Cox.

By Anita Kumar  | October 20, 2010; 2:33 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race, Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2010, Liquor privatization, Robert F. McDonnell, State Senate  
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