Ted Cruz beefs up 2016 team

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has hired Brian Phillips as senior adviser to his political action committee, the latest move to beef up his staff for a possible run at the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

Mr. Phillips, the former communications director for Sen. Mike Lee, Utah Republican, will officially join Mr. Cruz’s Jobs, Growth, and Freedom PAC on March 14, he confirmed Monday to The Washington Times.

brian phillips

Click here to read the full March 9, 2015 article from the Washington Times quoted in part above.

Cruz enters 2015 with extensive political operation ahead of possible presidential bid

Click here for the complete blog from the Houston Chronicle of February 1, 2015.

Ted Cruz is continuing to maintain an extensive political operation as he enters a presidential election cycle, according to his political action committee’s campaign finance filing this weekend.

Cruz raised $100,000 for his PAC during the final five weeks of 2014 and spent just about as much to pay for its advisers, many of whom were hired in recent months as Cruz increased his travel to the country’s early-primary states. His joint fundraising committee, which gave about half of its proceeds to the PAC, collected $230,000 during that period.

His top political expenses continue to be Vincent Harris, a digital consultant who recently switched to join Rand Paul’s probable 2016 team; Jason Johnson, the Austin-based strategist credited with planning Cruz’ upset in his 2012 primary against David Dewhurst; and Lauren Lofstrom, a national fundraising consultant.

This past summer, Cruz beefed up his political shop by hiring Lofstrom, communications adviser Jason Miller and strategist Jeff Roe, who runs a direct-mail firm in Kansas City.

 

Ted Cruz’s “Brain” Trust: The Advisers Who Want To Make Him President

Click this link for the full November 20, 2014 story on talkingpointsmemo.com, including photographs of these staffers and advisors.

Ted Cruz builds his White House campaign team

This link will take you to the full January 18, 2015 Washington Examiner article.

Team Ted Cruz is taking shape, and the Senate first-termer’s presidential campaign could start before this spring.

The Republican senator from Texas tentatively plans to fill senior campaign positions with the triumvirate he signed last summer to expand his political operation. At the top is Jeff Roe, whose organizational title is undefined but who would be the campaign’s chief strategic and logistics decision-maker. Jason Miller would shape and oversee campaign messaging; Lauren Lofstrom would direct fundraising.

Cruz is in the process of “feeling out” additional campaign hires and prospective donors in preparation to join the field of 2016 candidates. If the senator decides to run for president, he wants to hit the ground at full speed, a senior Cruz advisor confirmed Monday.

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Roe, founder of the direct mail firm Axiom Strategies, has never managed a presidential campaign. But he advised Mike Huckabee in 2008 and Rick Perry in 2012 and is familiar with the terrain in the early primary states. Republicans who have worked with Roe describe him as a talented strategist who is capable keeping a campaign operation humming. Perhaps most importantly, Roe is a good fit for Cruz’ aggressive style.

“He is a mean, bare-knuckles brawler,” one Republican operative told the Washington Examiner.

Rounding out the team are pollster Chris Perkins, who earned plaudits for being among the few to correctly forecast November’s Georgia Senate race, and Jason Johnson, the senator’s longtime political consigliere. Nick Muzin, Cruz’s deputy chief of staff in his Senate office, is steeped in South Carolina politics. He is viewed as someone who might take a leave of absence from Cruz’ Senate office to join the campaign.

Johnson, meanwhile, is often referred to as Cruz’s “political brain.” He is rooted in the Texas GOP establishment and has been with the senator the longest among his advisors. Johnson served as chief of staff to Greg Abbott for a period when the incoming governor was state attorney general. It was in Abbott’s office that he and Cruz, then the the Lone Star State’s solicitor general, bonded. Johnson guided Cruz to second place and then victory, respectively, in Texas’ 2012 GOP primary and runoff contests.

Those two races constitute the 44-year-old lawmaker’s only experience with competitive campaigns. Cruz had a very easy time in his general election win against an under-funded, no-name Democrat. Republican insiders expect Cruz to contend for first choice among GOP primary voters who favor the most confrontational and conservative candidate. But to compete for the nomination, Cruz has to step up his game.

“His early reviews among tea party audiences have been stellar in Iowa,” a Republican insider in the Hawkeye State told the Examiner. “I don’t think he can appeal as broadly in the party or in the general electorate as other candidates, but his support will be intense among those voters who have the highest anger score.”