With Texas in play, Biden campaign staffs up

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Joe Biden’s presidential campaign announced six new key hires in Texas on Monday, a sign the campaign is staffing up in a state both parties consider a battleground state.

Rebecca Acuña, a former communications director for Texas Democrats and multiple lawmakers, was tapped as the campaign’s Texas state director. Jennifer Longoria, Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s former Texas director, will serve as deputy state director.

Tariq Thowfeek, a former communications director for Texas Democrats, will serve as the Biden campaign’s communications director. Mike Collier, the 2018 Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, will work as a senior advisor.

Jane Hamilton, the Biden campaign’s former Texas director during the primaries, will return as a strategic advisor. The Signal spoke to Hamilton in May about what the Biden campaign learned in Texas — that careful, moderate messaging was key to winning the state.

Lastly, Shekira Dennis, a consultant and former chair of Houston Black Democrats, will work as director of coalitions. 

“Texans won’t forget Trump’s inability to lead our country during this pandemic, and this fall they will have the opportunity to make a change and send Joe Biden to the White House, and this team is going to play a key role in that,” the Biden campaign told the Signal in a statement.

The new hires come as polling in the past several weeks shows a close race between President Trump and Biden. At least five polls this month show both candidates are evenly matched in Texas, a state Trump won by 9 percentage points in 2016.

State Rep. Victoria Neave, who has been active with the Biden campaign since last fall, praised her former staffer in a statement to the Texas Signal. “Rebecca Acuña’s political acumen, knowledge of the Texas political landscape, and the core issues impacting Texas families gives us a huge advantage in helping turn out the vote for Joe Biden in the biggest battleground state.” 

The news also arrives on the same day as former President Barack Obama’s first wave of Texas endorsements, in which he endorsed more than a dozen Texas Democratic candidates vying to flip congressional and state House seats.

Photo: Daniel Carde/Getty Images

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