Linda McMahon’s 2010 campaign for U.S. Senate relied on David Cappiello, a former state senator and congressional candidate, and Ed Patru, who came to Connecticut after stints with the communication shops of national Republican congressional committees in Washington.

Cappiello was Mr. Inside, the manager. Patru was Mr. Outside, the message strategist and spokesman.

In the 2012 version, McMahon is relying on Christopher J. LaCivita of Virginia, who has extensive experience running campaigns and overseeing independent expenditure groups, as the chief consultant and strategist. He intends to spend about four days a month in the state.

The team on the ground: Corry Bliss, campaign manager; Erin Isaac, communications director; and Kate Duffy, deputy communications director.

Bliss and Duffy most recently worked in Vermont on the unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign of Republican Brian Dubie. Duffy was a TV reporter for WCAX in Vermont before joining the campaign.

Isaacs once handled communications for Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, but she was quick to note today she left his employ before he exited the Republican party to run for U.S. Senate as an independent.

LaCivita also has a Crist connection: He once ran an independent group, Floridians for a Better and Brighter Future, that softened up Crist’s opponent in a GOP primary.

In 2008, a group he co-founded, the American Issues Project, aired ads in battleground states connecting Barack Obama to a former student radical, William Ayers. In 2010 and 2002, he was political director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Sullivan & LeShane, the Hartford lobbying and PR firm that did work for McMahon in 2010, remains involved with McMahon.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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