The president of American Action Network, a prominent, deep-pocketed conservative group that played a central role in winning and expanding the House for Republicans, is departing to take a job at a political consulting firm.
Brian Walsh, who took the helm of the organization in 2011, will join Red Print Strategy, an Austin, Texas-based shop whose list of clients has included New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the National Rifle Association. He will also serve as an outside adviser to congressional GOP leadership, who in 2016 will be defending a 30-seat majority.
American Action Network, which was co-founded in 2009 by former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, has yet to name a replacement. The tax-exempt, 501 (c)(4) organization has raised $104 million since 2011, making it among the biggest-spending conservative groups.
It has also emerged as something of a political traffic cop for the large network of conservative organizations, helping to coordinate their activity in individual House races. During the final days of the 2014 midterms, American Action Network swooped into traditionally blue districts in hopes of stretching the map and helping Republicans achieve a wave.
In addition to its political activity, American Action Network has built out a policy arm to highlight conservative positions on issues like health care reform.
Prior to working at American Action Network, Walsh, 38, served as the National Republican Congressional Committee’s political director during the party’s 2010 House takeover. Walsh will be based in Northern Virginia in his new job.