Democratic campaign maestro Jay Reiff has taken a job with the National Education Association, helping the teachers group with its political efforts in mid-Atlantic and midwestern states.
"There's a little irony in this," said John Wilson, NEA's executive director and former president of the N.C. Association of Educators. Wilson is a longtime supporter of Gov. Beverly Perdue, and Reiff managed the campaign of Perdue's Democratic primary opponent last year, then-State Treasurer Richard Moore.
Reiff will work with NEA affiliates in N.C., Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Kentucky and Ohio in analyzing elections, identifying candidates to endorse and helping elect them. Virginia, where Reiff previously worked as a Democratic strategist, elects a governor this year.
"I suspect Jay will be spending a lot of time assisting our Virginia affiliate with that race," Wilson said.
Reiff ran former Gov. Mike Easley's successful campaigns in 2000 and 2004, as well as U.S. Sen. Bob Casey's campaign in Pennsylvania in 2006.
Wilson appointed Reiff to temporarily fill the job for several months, after which the job will be opened to applications under union rules, Wilson said. Reiff can apply and will be in the best position to be hired because he has been in the post, Wilson said.