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Quorum Report Daily Buzz

March 13, 2014      5:19 PM


Zac Petkanas is said to be a "smashmouth" former Sen. Reid operative; not afraid of controversy

Following some significant stumbles out of the gate and fresh reports that Sen. Wendy Davis is shaking up her communications team, we at Buzz Central thought it would be of value to take a little closer look at the man who will now be heading up the senator’s efforts in the media. Zac Petkanas comes to Texas from Nevada, where he was a top aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

In just the last few days, some members of the Capitol Press Corps have noticed a shift in how the Davis campaign is interacting with us. It also seems, for the moment at least, that the Davis folks are more nimble than before in reacting to events and seizing on chances to drive their narrative in the press.

As you remember, tensions between the campaign and the media boiled over during a speech Sen. Davis gave in Austin designed to respond to criticism of the details of her personal life. It was an effective speech but the story became about media access because most reporters were barred from entry. Whatever the explanation – those arguments have played out and we’re not interested in re-litigating that – there was clearly no upside for the campaign.

After joining the Davis team, one of Petkanas’ first online statements about GOP nominee for governor Greg Abbott was that after the AG “campaigned with sex predator & fought equal pay for women, no wonder new GOP PAC hitting panic button in Texas." That’s apparently a reference to a new political action committee called Red State Women. As the name suggests, it’s an effort aimed at women here. It is also, one could argue, an attempt to counter any chance Davis might have at convincing GOP women to cross over and vote for the Democrat in November.

By Scott Braddock