Haley Barbour’s Inner Circle

The Barbour Inner Circle

Henry Barbour: The nephew of the governor is much more than just a family relation. Henry Barbour managed the 2003 governor’s race as well as then Mississippi Rep. Chip Pickering’s 2002 campaign. He also serves as a Republican National Committeeman from the Magnolia State.

Nick Ayers: Ayers, the current executive director of the RGA, comes out of the world of Georgia politics — he managed Gov. Sonny Perdue’s races — but has quickly grown close to Barbour.

Don Fierce: Fierce is extremely tight with Barbour personally. He served as director of strategic planning and Congressional affairs at the Republican National Committee when Barbour was chairman in the 1994 cycle and is currently a prominent lobbyist in Washington at Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock.

Jim Perry: Perry, a Mississippi native, served as Barbour’s policy director before leaving that post to take a job on Wall Street in 2008. Perry remains Barbour’s most trusted policy adviser and will almost certainly play a senior role if a campaign takes shape.

Heather Larrison: Larrison is the executive director of Haley’s PAC, which is, not surprisingly, Barbour’s leadership PAC. Larrison will be tasked with putting together the early fundraising structure for Barbour — a critical early bench mark for 2012 candidates.

David Norcross: Norcross, like several others in the Barbour inner circle, has ties with the governor going back to the RNC in the mid 1990s. (Norcross served as RNC general counsel under Barbour.) Norcross has been a Republican National Committeeman from New Jersey for more than two decades, although he announced recently he would step aside from that position.

Lanny Griffith/Ed Rogers: Griffith and Rogers along with Barbour founded the massive lobby shop BGR Group in the early 1990s. Both men have very long histories in campaign politics; Rogers served as deputy campaign manager for George H.W. Bush’s 1988 presidential campaign while Griffith served as southern regional political director of that effort. The duo would likely lead the courtship of the D.C.-based political chattering class for Barbour.

Scott Reed: Reed served as executive director of the RNC when Barbour was chairman and went on to manage the 1996 presidential race of former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole (R). He is currently chairman of Chesapeake Enterprises, a consulting shop based in Washington.

Chris Cillizza
WAPO
8/10/10