Skip to main content

Updated: Allbaugh, National Consultants Join Perry

Joe Allbaugh, who ran George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign and later led FEMA, will make a return to big-league politics as a senior adviser to Rick Perry. Allbaugh, and several other heavy-hitters, will try to get Perry's campaign back on track after the Texas governor fell hard in opinion polls.

Former Bush advisor Joe Allbaugh at the Texas State Capitol in October, 2000.

Updated, 4:50 p.m.

Gov. Rick Perry's Texas-bred campaign team is getting a shot of new blood.

Joe Allbaugh, who ran George W. Bush's 2000 campaign, will become a "senior adviser" to Perry, the campaign announced Monday. Sources say Allbaugh, known as a stern and disciplined manager, will play a central role in trying to get the Texas governor back on top of the GOP field.

Perry also announced, as reported in various media outlets over the last 24 hours, the addition of six other nationally known consultants. Tony Frabrizio, a pollster and former strategist for 1996 GOP nominee Bob Dole, and Fred Maas, who has worked on the campaigns of Dole, John McCain and others, will also take "senior adviser" titles, the campaign said.

Stanton Anderson, who has managed Republican conventions and served as counsel to the Reagan-Bush campaign in 1980, will become the Perry campaign's congressional liaison.

"I am honored to have these experienced professionals joining our growing campaign team," Perry said in a written statement. "These experienced advisors will play an instrumental role in helping me share my vision to get American working again with the nation."

Also joining the campaign are Curt Anderson, a former strategist for Steve Forbes and the Republican National Committee; Jim Innocenzi, founding partner of Sandler-Innocenzi, a GOP television advertising firm; and Nelson Warfield, who served in the Reagan White House and served as Dole's national press secretary in 1996.

Original Story:

Joe Allbaugh, who ran George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign and later led FEMA, will make a return to big-league politics as a senior adviser to Rick Perry, sources tell The Texas Tribune. Dave Carney, who has been Perry's top political advisor for well over a decade, will remain a consultant to the campaign, but will share his duties with Allbaugh and others, the sources said.

Allbaugh will play a leading role in a bolstered Perry campaign, sources said Monday. He is one of several new heavy-hitting advisers and consultants being added to the roster of people helping the Texas governor, who has struggled in recent weeks to regain the momentum he once had. Also coming on board are pollster Tony Fabrizio and strategist Nelson Warfield, who worked for Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign, along with media man Jim Innocenzi and consultant Curt Anderson, sources said.

Allbaugh is an intriguing choice, particularly given some of the tension between the Bush and Perry camps. But Allbaugh is highly respected in both Texas and in national politics. While some of Bush’s former advisers endorsed U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison over Perry in 2010, Allbaugh went with Perry — and that loyalty did not go unnoticed.

Two sources close to the Perry campaign say the moves aren’t intended to replace anyone, and that additions had been planned for weeks. But there is a recognition that the Texas governor needs people with deeper national experience.

“They’re not getting rid of Carney,” one of the sources said. “I think Joe can bring a national scene perspective. Carney doesn’t really have the national scene. Joe brings the national experience.” Allbaugh was part of Bush's hallowed "Iron Triangle," which included Karen Hughes and Karl Rove.

The Washington Post quoted him in 1999 as saying his chief role was "the enforcer of the governor's will and the moderator of staff egos."

"Joe listens," Karen Hughes told the newspaper. "Both Karl and I talk a lot. Joe does not. He's quiet. But when he speaks, it's always well thought out. Joe's very fair and very balanced. He gets things done."

Perry aides declined to discuss any staff changes Monday.

Allbaugh, who looks like a drill sergeant and is known for acting like one, too, is a notorious penny-pincher and organizational disciplinarian. A source close to the Perry campaign said Allbaugh would be the top man at the Perry campaign.

"He's going to run it," the source said.

Texans need truth. Help us report it.

Support independent Texas news

Become a member. Join today.

Donate now

Explore related story topics

Griffin Perry Rick Perry