U.S. Sen. Cory Booker is bringing on a Nevada communications director as part of an overall ramp-up of his communications team for his 2020 presidential campaign.
Vanessa Valdivia, who worked as an organizer for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign in Nevada in the run-up to the caucus and led Latino outreach for Clinton’s campaign in Colorado in the general election, will serve as both Nevada communications director and deputy national press secretary for Spanish language media. Most recently, Valdivia worked as communications director for U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and led the communications team for his 2018 re-election campaign.
Valdivia is among a handful of communications hires Booker’s campaign announced Monday, some of them with Nevada ties. Julie McClain Downey, who was deputy press secretary for former Rep. Shelley Berkley’s U.S. Senate campaign in 2012, will serve as director of state communications, while Chris Moyer, who was press secretary for former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid’s re-election campaign in 2010 and served as a deputy press secretary to Reid, will serve as New Hampshire communications director.
Sabrina Singh will also join the team as national press secretary from the Democratic National Committee, where she served as deputy communications director overseeing the states and coalitions communications programs.
Other presidential campaigns have been onboarding staff with Nevada ties, too. Kristen Orthman, Reid’s former communications director, is on U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 campaign team, while another former Reid aide, Faiz Shakir, is U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign manager.
Warren has also made on-the-ground hires in Nevada including Suzy Smith, who most recently was digital director for former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander’s Let America Vote group, as her state director and Michelle Villegas as her state political director.