Jack Moulton, center, with former U.S. House speaker John Boehner and Rep. Elise Stefanik
The Vermont Republican Party announced Tuesday that it has hired New York political operative Jack Moulton as executive director. He replaces Jeff Bartley, who left in mid-January after three years in the post.
"I am excited for the fresh ideas and innovative strategies [Jack] brings with him," party chair Deb Billado said in a press release. "[He] has the experience and knowledge needed to win elections in the modern age."
Moulton comes to Vermont from across Lake Champlain. He has been a staffer in the campaign office of U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) since 2014, most recently serving as her political director. While he's an Empire State native, his father hails from Vermont and the family often vacationed here.
Moulton said Tuesday that he caught the political bug through the College Republicans at the State University of New York at Potsdam, where he earned his bachelor's degree. A 2013 meeting with Stefanik's campaign manager led to a job with her first run for Congress in 2014.
"I feel a lot of energy in Vermont," he said. "We have a Republican governor, unlike New York. There's a lot we can accomplish."
Stefanik's district encompasses the entire northern tier of New York, from Watertown in the west to Lake Champlain in the east, and from the Canadian border to the southern edge of the Adirondacks. Moulton notes that the district "is not too dissimilar from Vermont. It's a big rural area with some towns and small cities."
Moulton will have to get up to speed quickly, since the 2018 election season is not very far off. He's using "the fire hydrant method," he said: spending hours on the phone, trying to meet everyone and learn everything all at once.
He acknowledged that this fall may be tough for the GOP. "It's always challenging in the midterms following the election of a president from your party," he said. But, he added, "Thanks to a strong incumbent governor, Republicans have a good chance at minimizing midterm losses."
He sets a bit of a low bar there. Perhaps a sign of youthful wisdom.