Untitled Attachment                                                        NEWS RELEASE   

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                   CONTACT:  Kevin Sheridan
January 17, 2002                                                      202-669-5168

RNC Continues Grassroots and Outreach Efforts;

Announces New Staff and Initiatives

AUSTIN - The Republican National Committee (RNC) today reiterated its dedication to Grassroots Development and Outreach to non-traditional groups such as Hispanics and women in announcing new staff, the funding of Spanish language classes and the New Citizens Initiative.

Terry Nelson, was named Deputy Chief of Staff and Executive Director of Political Operations.  Nelson has been a partner at Dawson McCarthy Nelson Media, where he worked closely with political campaigns across the country.  Previously, Nelson served as Political Director and National Field Director for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).

“Terry comes to the RNC with a wealth of grassroots campaign experience in congressional races nationwide.  He understands that races are won and lost at the grassroots level and will lead the Committee in these efforts.  The Committee is fortunate to have someone as respected as Terry and his expertise to this critical election cycle,” said Deputy RNC Chairman Jack Oliver.

Mindy Tucker was named Communications Director for the RNC.  Tucker was Press Secretary for George W. Bush’s presidential campaign, where she served as a senior spokesman and was heavily involved with Outreach efforts to women and Hispanics.  She also served as the campaign’s on the ground spokesman during the Florida recount.  Most recently, she served as the chief spokesman for the Justice Department and Attorney General John Ashcroft, and was the first woman to ever hold that post.

“Mindy is a sharp and effective communicator of the compassionate conservative message and her expertise and voice will be tremendous assets for the 2002 elections.  She is just one more example of our commitment to communicate our message in a way that brings new faces and new voices into the Republican Party,” said RNC Co-Chairman Ann Wagner.

Also named today was Blaise Hazelwood as Political Director.  Hazelwood has served in various capacities at the RNC over the last several years.  As Deputy Chief of Staff, she oversaw the creation and expansion of the Team Leader program and managed the 72-hour program.  She has also served the RNC as Director of Coalitions for Victory 2000 and Chief of Staff to the Co-Chairman.  Before joining the RNC, Hazelwood was a partner at The Anderson Group, a Republican political consulting firm, where she worked with numerous candidates at the local, state and federal levels.  She has also worked closely with the Republican Majority Issues Committee and the Restoring the American Dream PAC.

“Blaise has a proven track record at the RNC in a leadership role.  She has a great understanding of voter programs and the importance of Grassroots and Outreach efforts as an essential part of the day-to-day operations of campaign and state party operations.  She is uniquely equipped to help Republicans take advantage of our electoral opportunities this year,” said Oliver.

Underscoring the RNC’s effort to reach out to Hispanic voters, the Committee today announced a program intended to help Republicans across the country learn to speak Spanish.  The RNC will pay the tuition for state party chairmen and /or state party spokespeople in key target states to attend a 10-day Spanish language immersion course at the Berlitz Language Center in Washington, D.C.

“We are serious about reaching out to Hispanics and bringing more diversity to the Republican Party.  We know that when they hear President Bush’s message of economic growth, educational opportunity, personal responsibility, and national security they will join the many other Hispanics who support the Republican Party,” said Oliver.

Another effort to strengthen the party through diversity announced today is the New U.S. Citizens Initiative, a plan that recognizes the enthusiasm of newly naturalized citizens to participate in the civic process.  The focus of the program includes broadening awareness of the Republican Party’s agenda and voter registration of new citizens at the grassroots level. 

The number of new citizens naturalized each year presents a significant opportunity for Republicans to reach out and build support.  In 1999 California naturalized more than 280,000 new citizens, Florida more than 67,000, and Pennsylvania more than 14,000.

Today’s announcements came as part of the RNC’s Winter Meeting being held this week in Austin, Texas.