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Poolhouse ad agency gears up to frame the story of Marco Rubio

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Marco Rubio‘s life story has its own inherent interest to anyone who takes the time to look into his Florida Dream rise to the U.S. Senate, but the high-powered PR operations at the heart of today’s presidential campaigns can take no chances. That’s why Rubio has brought on a pair of top-shelf Republican media firms to stoke the fires of his “American Son” myth-making machine, writes Ashley Parker in today’s New York Times.

Senator Marco Rubio and his team believe their candidate — the almost perpetually rosy-cheeked son of Cuban immigrants — has a compelling story to tell.

And they’ve brought on Poolhouse, a scrappy Republican ad agency based in Richmond, Va., to help share that story.

Founded by Tim O’Toole and Will Ritter, both veterans of Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, Poolhouse will work alongside Something Else Strategies to handle Mr. Rubio’s media — both digital and television ads.

The firms both carry an “edgy, yet established” reputation. The longtime GOP communications gurus at their respective helms seem primed to push the envelope with Rubio’s rich personal profile and unorthodox record as their canvass.

Something Else Strategies, in addition to working on Mr. Rubio’s media, is also integrated in the highest levels of the Rubio campaign, handing the team’s overall strategy. Todd Harris, one of the company’s founding partners, will serve as a senior adviser, overseeing message and communications, and Heath Thompson, another founding partner, will serve as Mr. Rubio’s most senior political adviser.

Mr. Harris, Mr. Thompson and Malorie Thompson, another founding partner at Something Else Strategies, have been with Mr. Rubio since 2009, when they helped him mount his long-shot Senate primary bid in Florida against a popular incumbent governor, Charlie Crist. Lori Raad, the company’s fourth founding partner, will also work on the campaign.

During the 2014 midterm elections, Something Else Strategies was responsible for one of the most memorable ads of the cycle — “Squeal,” in which Joni Ernst, the newly elected Republican senator from Iowa, talked about growing up castrating pigs on her family farm.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at [email protected]

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