Politics '96: The people behind the candidates

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Alex Castellanos

Agency: National Media Corp., Alexandria, Va.
Candidate: Phil Gramm

Mr. Castellanos, 41, a veteran political ad executive and a key adman in George Bush's re-election try in 1992, has worked for Sens. Dole and Gramm. But this year he's backing the Gramm campaign. National Media was created in part by former GOP media guru Roger Ailes.

"I have a lot of respect for Bob Dole, but I'm a conservative, a Reagan conservative, and so is Phil Gramm. It's kind of a place where Reagan conservatives have to be," Mr. Castellanos said last year in explaining his decision.

Jay Townsend

Agency: Townsend Group, Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y.
Candidate: Pat Buchanan

Mr. Townsend, 41, has done ads for political candidates since the early 1980s, including Mr. Buchanan's direct mail in New Hampshire two years ago. Now, he's handling all creative for the campaign. WTS Media, Upper Marlboro, Md., handles media buying.

"We began talking last November, and there has always been a chemistry between us," he said. "Pat is a professional communications person and a good wordsmith. When I write it, I take it up with Pat."

Mike Murphy

Agency: Murphy, Pintak & Gautier, McLean, Va.
Candidate: Lamar Alexander

Mr. Murphy, 33, also has a long history of doing campaign advertising. He was another adman in President Bush's 1992 campaign, and he worked with Mr. Castellanos from 1983 until 1989. Now, his role in Gov. Alexander's campaign is not only as an adman but also as chief strategist.

The union between Mr. Murphy, 33, and Gov. Alexander started two years ago. "He called me. I had met him in the 1987 Bush campaign. I felt it was the best thing I could do," Mr. Murphy said last year in describing the meeting.

Stuart Stevens

Agency: Stuart Stevens Group, Arlington, Va., and New York
Candidate: Bob Dole

While not quite as experienced as Messrs. Murphy and Castellanos, Mr. Stevens, 42, has worked on campaign advertising since 1978 and has had his own company since 1990.

Although Mr. Stevens hasn't done a presidential run before, the Dole campaign chose him after interviewing several political ad shops. "We really wanted to do it," he said.

Politics, however, has not been his only vocation. Mr. Stevens has penned scripts for "Northern Exposure" and "I'll Fly Away" and also written travel books.

Susan Tyndall

Agency: In-house
Candidate: Richard Lugar

When Sen. Lugar decided to run, his campaign staff decided to create the advertising themselves.

"We felt we had to take an unconventional course. We did not feel we would get the risk-taking from political consultants who have to have a job in the next cycle," said campaign manager Mark Lubbers.

Enter Ms. Tyndall, 30, director of broadcast services and advertising head of media for the National Republican Congressional Committee. "I was incredibly impressed by [Sen. Lugar's] decency," she said. "Dick Lugar refuses to run negative ads."

Copyright February 1996 Crain Communications Inc.

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