Obama hires Braley aide

Jeff Giertz served as congressional candidate Bruce Braley’s press secretary in the 2006 campaign, then went to Washington, D.C. where he’s been serving as Congressman Braley’s press secretary during Braley’s first term.  Now, Giertz is taking a leave of absence so he can go serve as Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s press secretary in Alaska.  Giertz is 24 years old and Braley’s ’06 campaign was the first in which he had a full-time role.  Obama opened a campaign office in Anchorage, Alaska, in early December in preparation for Alaska’s February 5th Caucuses. (Obama won Alaska’s caucuses.) 

On July 8 in Anchorage, more than 400 people turned out for a general election Obama campaign office "opening" according to an Alaska Public Radio report.  The state has three electoral votes and has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. 

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is often mentioned as a potential vice presidential running mate for Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

UPDATE:  this is the email Giertz sent to reporters this afternoon.

Friends and Colleagues—

As some of you may have noticed, we’re in the midst of an active 2008 campaign cycle.   Occasionally, Iowa Congressional staffers have been known to take leave to join in the fun. 

So, effective tomorrow, July 11th, I’ll be taking a leave of absence from Rep. Bruce Braley’s office to work as the Alaska Communications Director for Senator Barack Obama’s campaign for president. 

While I’m out following in the footsteps of Jack London, Nicole Buseman will be your primary point of contact until my return in November….If you have Braley-related questions, contact Nicole.  I will have infrequent access to this email account between now and November.

See you on the other side of Election Day—and I promise to regale you with stories of grizzly bears and moose. 


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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.