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Johnson for Governor Campaign Announces Senior Leadership Team and Campaign Staff

Key positions include alumni who served President Barack Obama, Secretary Hillary Clinton, Governor Deval Patrick, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Mayor Bill de Blasio

Newark, NJ – Former U.S. Treasury Under Secretary and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Johnson announced his run for Governor of New Jersey late last year, and has spent the last several weeks quietly assembling his team under leadership from campaign veterans Bill Hyers and Doug Rubin. Today the Johnson campaign announced several key members of his team, who will lead the strategy and campaign operations during the march to the Democratic primary on June 6th.

“I’m proud to have assembled a campaign team with such deep talent, broad experience, and genuine personal commitment to changing politics as usual,” said Johnson. “It’s the latest sign that this campaign is ready to pull off a historic victory in June, and again in November.”

Doug Rubin, Chief Strategist
Doug Rubin is the Founding Partner at Northwind Strategies and has spent more than 20 years as a veteran communications, political and business strategist and manager. Rubin served as Senior Strategist for Elizabeth Warren’s successful U.S. Senate Campaign and Joe Kennedy, III’s successful U.S. Congressional Campaign. He previously served in the same role for both of Governor Deval Patrick’s successful gubernatorial campaigns (MA 2006, 2010), as well as for the successful campaigns for Treasurer of Paul Tavares (RI 1998, 2002), Tim Cahill (MA 2002) and Steve Grossman (MA 2010). Doug also served as Chief of Staff for Governor Patrick, where he was responsible for executing the administration’s policy agenda and overseeing the day-to-day management of state government.

Bill Hyers, General Consultant
Bill Hyers is a partner at Hilltop Public Solutions and has worked in the New York office since 2014. In 2016, he helped oversee U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth’s successful campaign in Illinois. Prior to that he served as Campaign Manager for Bill de Blasio’s successful New York City mayoral campaign and was named “Campaign Manager of the Year” by the American Association of Political Consultants. In 2012, Hyers served as State Director for President Obama’s campaign in Pennsylvania, and was Midwest Director for President Obama’s campaign during 2008. Hyers also successfully managed Mayor Michael Nutter’s victory in Philadelphia in 2007, and Kirsten Gillibrand’s Congressional race in 2006. His political work has taken him further across the country including campaigns in Kentucky, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire and Wisconsin.

Celinda Lake, Pollster
Celinda Lake is a leading pollster and Democratic strategist nationwide.
During the Clinton/Gore campaign, Lake oversaw focus group research and served as a general consultant throughout the campaign. She was also the lead pollster for Vice President Biden in his presidential run, and worked on the Independent Expenditure geared to women voters for Hillary Clinton. Lake has worked for dozens of Democratic Senators, Governors, and Members of Congress, including a number of firsts and come-from-behind upset wins, including: Senator Carol Mosely Braun, Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senator Mark Begich, and Senator Jon Tester. Lake has worked for dozens of labor unions and issue groups including Planned Parenthood, Wilderness Society, Fund for Feminist Majority, MoveOn and others.

John Del Cecato, Media Strategist
John Del Cecato is a partner at AKPD Message and Media in New York. For more than two decades, Del Cecato has worked at the highest levels of Democratic politics – helping to devise winning media and communications strategies for clients such as Barack Obama, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, and former Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, who now serves as U.S. Secretary of Transportation. Since joining AKPD in 2001, Del Cecato has been at the center of the company’s creative work – offering his expertise in message development, speechwriting, earned media strategy, and television and radio ad production to candidates for federal, state and municipal office. His work for Obama began when the candidate was a longshot Senate hopeful in 2003, and continued through the President’s successful re-election in 2012.

Rosy Gonzalez, Strategist
Rosy Gonzalez, Vice President at Northwind Strategies, is a senior strategy and development professional. She brings extensive organizing and donor relations experience and a vast network from both the public and private sector. Gonzalez also served as the Finance Director and Political Liaison for Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. In this role, she managed TogetherPAC, his political committee, and implemented the Governor’s surrogacy and fundraising efforts on behalf of candidates and donors nationwide. In addition, Rosy has worked as the Finance Director for the Massachusetts Democratic Party through the elections of Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Ed Markey, where she worked closely with senior leadership on strategy and implementation that led to victories on both campaigns.

Trip Yang, Deputy Campaign Manager
Trip Yang is joining the Johnson team as Deputy Campaign Manager and most recently worked on the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign as Organizing Director for New Jersey and Delaware. Trip is an experienced operative with a background in a variety of campaign and government roles, including serving as the Special Advisor for Intergovernmental Affairs for Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson, campaign manager for New York Councilmember Margaret Chin’s successful re-election, and organizing in several states for President Obama’s 2012 campaign.

Hayley Prim, Finance Director
Hayley Prim is currently a principal in Hilltop’s New York office, and brings with her experience from the Office of the Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio’s campaign for Mayor, work in the U.S. House of Representatives, and federal, state, and local political campaigns. Prim served as a member of the finance team on Bill de Blasio’s campaign for Mayor of New York City where she helped raised more than $6 million in the Primary election and $15 million overall. Before joining the Mayor’s campaign in 2012, Prim worked for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as special assistant to the Chairman, U.S. Congressman Steve Israel, and as Deputy Finance Director on his re-election campaign.

Aleigha Cavalier, Communications Director
A Western Pennsylvania native, Aleigha Cavalier brings almost 10 years of experience in the politics and the progressive movement. Most recently, Cavalier served as the Pennsylvania Communications Director for NextGen Climate, executing communications strategy for a multi-million dollar program engaging millennials around the 2016 election and the issue of climate change. Prior to that, Cavalier worked for Planned Parenthood, as Western Pennsylvania’s spokesperson, lobbyist, and political strategist. There, she managed Planned Parenthood’s regional efforts to elect Governor Tom Wolf in 2014, and served as co-director for the national Power of Pink conference, bringing 1,000 volunteers from across the country together to organize. Cavalier has also worked on federal, statewide, and local political campaigns in both Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Jerome Harris, Political Director
Jerry Harris is the Managing Partner of the Harris Organization LLC, a consulting firm specializing in community and organizational development. From June 2014 through May 2015 he served as Interim President and CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, overseeing all advocacy, policy research and workforce initiatives. From 2010 to 2014, Mr. Harris was COO of Shiloh Community Development Corporation in Trenton, NJ. He formerly served as Business Administrator and the Director of the Department of Housing and Economic Development for the City of Trenton. He is a former Assistant Secretary of State and Assistant State Treasurer for New Jersey. He has also served as the Essex County Administrator, City Administrator for the City of Plainfield and Vice President for Government Affairs for the Metro Newark Chamber of Commerce.

Ryan Stern, Chief of Staff
Ryan Stern has been involved in Democratic campaigns for more than a decade. Most recently Stern was in Pennsylvania for the Clinton/Kaine Presidential campaign coordinating advance teams for the Secretary, Presidents Obama and Clinton, and high level surrogates. He has experience on races spanning 15 states, held an appointment to the AmeriCorps granting agency, and served on the advance team for President Obama. Stern also has experience advising Fortune 50 companies on thought leadership programs, highlighting their corporate social responsibilities, and consulting with labor organizations and anti-hunger campaigns.

Amanda Clarke, Field Director
Amanda Clarke most recently worked on the 2016 Clinton/Kaine Presidential campaign in North Carolina as a Deputy Organizing Director where they helped deliver a narrow 10,000 vote victory to Governor Roy Cooper. Prior to that Clarke was a Regional Organizing Director with the Virginia Coordinated Campaign. She was an organizer in Nevada for Hillary Clinton during the primary, where they delivered a decisive caucus victory, and was an organizer with Ro Khanna and Bill de Blasio’s campaigns before that. Clarke is a native of Bergen County, New Jersey.

Will Shih, Policy Director
Will Shih was most recently a part of Tammy Duckworth’s successful run for Senate in Illinois as a member of the Research Department, successfully unseating incumbent Republican Mark Kirk in one of the two Senate seats to flip to Democratic control in 2016. Prior to that, he was involved in Sen. Cory Booker’s 2014 Senate campaign and worked at the political consulting firm 270 Strategies. He is a graduate of Harvard University and a native of Illinois.

Nate Rifkin, Digital Director 
Nathan Rifkin joins the Johnson campaign as Digital Director. Previously, he worked for both the Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaigns. Rifkin co-founded the organization College Students for Bernie in April 2015, which grew to more than 260 college and university chapters, before joining the Sanders campaign as their first organizer in Iowa. Rifkin also worked on the Sanders campaign as a Regional Field Director and State Campus Director in Nevada and Missouri. Later, he served as a member of Bernie 2016’s DNC Convention Whip Team. After Clinton became the nominee, Rifkin joined Hillary for America as the organization’s senior digital staffer in Nebraska and ran digital outreach in the battleground district surrounding Omaha.

Field Organizers
Trent Seubert
Amy Ackerman
Anna Carmichael
Autumn Alston
Emma Shaw

For more information on the campaign, please visit:
Follow on Twitter: @JimJohnsonNJ.


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