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Sen. Tim Kaine announces senior staff hires for 2018 re-election campaign

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine is announcing the senior leadership team for his 2018 re-election campaign in Virginia. The campaign will be led by Keren Dongo, an experienced Virginia political professional who has previously worked on Kaine’s staff as deputy state director and legislative assistant, as deputy state director for Hillary Clinton’s winning Virginia campaign in 2016, and for Rep. Bobby Scott, Gov. Terry McAuliffe, and Virginia’s successful 2008 and 2012 coordinated campaigns.

tim kaineIan Sams, who most recently led communications for former Rep. Tom Perriello’s Democratic primary campaign for Virginia governor and previously worked for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, the Democratic National Committee and U.S. Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware, will be communications director. Megan Apper will be research director; she most recently worked at Democratic research organization American Bridge and previously was deputy research director for the successful 2016 campaign of U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and worked as a political reporter for BuzzFeed News. Jessalyn Reid, who served as Hillary Clinton’s Virginia digital director in 2016, will be digital director. She comes to the Kaine campaign from Blue State Digital, where she was a senior strategist, and she previously was deputy email director for the Democratic National Committee. Jenny Nadicksbernd, Kaine’s PAC director and longtime finance director, will continue in that role for this campaign.

“I am proud to have this talented, experienced team — with deep ties to Virginia — to help lead my campaign in 2018,” Tim Kaine said. “I wake up every day excited to go to work for Virginia families in the Senate, and I’ll keep working with both Democrats and Republicans to build economic opportunity and protect health care for all Virginians while this exceptional team lays the groundwork for our successful campaign.”


Staff hires

Keren Dongo, Campaign Manager:
Keren will lead all aspects of the campaign as manager, working closely with Senator Kaine and the consulting team to plan and execute a winning strategy in 2018. With years of Virginia political experience, Keren joins the campaign from Kaine’s Senate office, where she was deputy state director and legislative assistant, and she previously was deputy state director for Hillary Clinton’s successful Virginia campaign in 2016. In 2012, she directed Virginia’s successful Democratic coordinated campaign, an integral part of the successful campaigns of President Barack Obama, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, and Democrats up and down the ballot. She was previously field director at the ONE Campaign, served as an aide to Congressman Bobby Scott and for Terry McAuliffe’s 2009 primary campaign for governor, and was outreach and political director of the 2008 Democratic coordinated campaign in Virginia.

Jenny Nadicksbernd, Finance Director:
Jenny will lead fundraising efforts for the Kaine campaign. Jenny, who has worked with Kaine since 2002, was the finance director on Kaine’s successful 2012 Senate race and has served as a senior advisor to Senator Kaine since 2013. She is also the executive director of his political action committee, Common Ground PAC. Previously, she was finance director on Sen. Mark Warner’s 2008 and 2014 Senate campaigns.

Ian Sams, Communications Director:
Ian will lead communications and message strategy for the Kaine campaign and serve as the campaign’s top spokesman. He was one of the earliest communications hires on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in Brooklyn, ultimately serving as a regional communications director leading the campaign’s communications strategy in five battleground states, including Virginia, in the general election. Prior to joining Clinton’s campaign in early 2015, he was a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, where he worked on Terry McAuliffe’s 2013 gubernatorial campaign in its final months, and for U.S. Senator Tom Carper of Delaware.

Megan Apper, Research Director:
Megan will lead research for the Kaine campaign, having previously worked as deputy research director on the successful 2016 campaign of U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and for the Democratic research organization American Bridge, where she was a senior research associate. She is also a former political reporter for BuzzFeed News.

Jessalyn Reid, Digital Director:
Jess will lead digital strategy, including digital organizing, for the Kaine campaign. She comes to the campaign from Blue State Digital, a leading progressive digital firm, where she was a senior strategist and previously was digital director for Hillary Clinton’s successful Virginia campaign in the 2016 presidential election. Prior to the Clinton campaign, she was deputy email director for the Democratic National Committee.


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