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Democrats: Just as hot as the Nintendo Wii � at least on K Street. The 2006 elections made this the Year of the Donkey. Democrats opened their own shops and scored high-profile gigs with firms and associations that had been light on the liberals after more than a decade of Republican dominance. Democrats have become so in vogue, in fact, that many firms say there’s a shortage of good job candidates. Many sought-after political aides are reluctant to leave the Hill now that they’re finally in the majority, and other top talent is committed to the presidential campaigns. Democrats who have started their own shops say they’re benefiting from the boost. Steven Elmendorf, once an adviser to then-House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.), started Elmendorf Strategies in 2006, and the firm now boasts a client list that includes Microsoft Corp., Verizon Wireless, and Fannie Mae. He says he’s fielding daily calls from headhunters and clients who “all need a �D,’ and there are not enough people to fill all these jobs….Clearly, the market is good for Democrats.” In December, even two of the most prominent Republican firms started working a little blue. The Livingston Group, after announcing plans to become more bipartisan in general, named its first two Democratic partners: Dennis Hertel, a former six-term congressman from Michigan, and Lauri Fitz-Pegado, former assistant secretary of commerce. And Barbour Griffith & Rogers, perhaps the highest-profile Republican firm in town, announced that, like a struggling fast-food chain, it was changing its name to just initials. A rebranded BRG Holding LLC will seek to go bipartisan early in 2008. So with Democratic stock still rising, don’t expect to buy it at a discount anytime soon.
Carrie Levine can be contacted at [email protected].

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