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Paul N. Bennecke (born 1978) is an American political consultant for candidates of the Republican Party. He is best known for his work at the Republican Governors Association, where he served as Deputy Executive Director and Political Director from January 2007 to January 2011.
Bennecke was born in Chattanooga, TN, and attended Dalton State College, then transferred to the University of Georgia. At 21, he was selected as an alternate delegate to the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. At 23, he served as Political Director for the campaign to elect St. Sen. Sonny Perdue to the Georgia Governorship. Perdue won despite being heavily outspent by incumbent Democrat Roy Barnes. Subsequently he was named Political Director, and later Executive Director of the Georgia Republican Party, serving under chairman Alec Poitevint. During this 2003-06 period at the Georgia GOP, Republicans seized control of the State House of Representatives (a net gain of 34 seats) and the State Senate (net gain of 8 seats). The party also elected a Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State, as well as re-electing Perdue in 2006, the first Republican in 134 years to serve as Governor.
Throughout these years, Bennecke had worked with Nick Ayers, Perdue's 2006 campaign manager. Perdue was elected to a one-year stint as RGA Chairman, and he named Ayers as Executive Director and Bennecke as Political Director. The two young Georgians conceived an unprecedented four-year plan to professionalize the committee's operation and implement a long-range strategy, leading up to the 2010 midterm elections, when 37 Governors would be elected. Their plan was accepted by the Governors, and Ayers and Bennecke served through four gubernatorial cycles encompassing all 50 states. When the two began at RGA, Republicans were reeling from a terrible 2006 cycle, and held only 22 statehouses. When they left in early 2011, the GOP held 29 Governorships, a net gain of seven (including Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey, Wisconsin and Virginia). Bennecke oversaw a budget totalling $35 million in 2007-09, which rose to more than $100 million for 2010 alone.
- Interview On CNN, May 23, 2000, transcript at http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0005/23/nr.00.html
- Johnson, Eric, The Georgia Republican Party, 1856-2006, monograph, accessed at http://www.gilmergagop.org/files/GA_GOP_History.pdf
- Horowitz, Jason, Washington Post, 27 April 2010, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/26/AR2010042603992.html
- Mahoney, Ryan, Atlanta Business Chrincle, 1 December 2006, http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2006/11/27/daily41.html
- Four-year RGA plan referenced by Gov. Rick Perry in POLITICO, 12 November 2010, http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/45050.html
- Silverman, Amanda, He Hasn't Lost Anything Yet, The New Republic, 2 November 2009, http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/he-hasnt-lost-anything-yet
- http://redclaystrategies.com/dev/Red_Clay_Brochure.pdf. Also verified in RGA fundraising reports at www.irs.gov