They are the people behind the candidate: the campaign staff. Any candidate for political office is only as successful as his or her campaign staff is efficient and effective.
When Republican Mayoral Candidate Joe Lhota campaigned in Jackson Heights, Queens, last week his press secretary Jessica Proud was always hovering nearby. A political operative who worked for New York senate majority leaders and a 2006 gubernatorial campaign, her job is to make sure the press gives her candidate the best coverage possible.
Also close by is Andrew Gibson, the "body man" -- a.k.a. the candidate's personal aide, who just graduated from NYU.
For this tour, Lhota's political director, Kevin Tschirhart, 26, who worked on congressional campaigns on Long Island, also joined the entourage.
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani is also in the cast of characters behind candidate Lhota. Lhota was a deputy mayor during the Giuliani administration. So people like George Frangoulis, once an aide to Giuliani, work on Lhota's campaign. Frangoulis is in the coalitions' group.
As with all major candidates, Lhota has several dozen fulltime staffers and hundreds volunteers in many departments.
Lhota's campaign manager is Vincent Balascio, who worked in Gov. George Pataki's administration. We had a lot of trouble finding a good picture of him, sign of a good political operative.