Perry Formally Announces Core Campaign Team

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has announced core members of his presidential campaign today, and they, according to a press release, include, “Rob Johnson as campaign manager, Deirdre Delisi as policy and strategy director, Wayne Hamilton as political director and Ray Sullivan has been named communications director. Eric Bearse will serve as deputy communications director, Mark Miner as national press secretary, Robert Black as travel press secretary, and Katherine Cesinger as state press director (working with state media across the country).”

“I am committed to turning our country back into the land of opportunity as the next president of the United States, and I have complete confidence in the top members of my presidential campaign staff to help get us there,” said Perry in a statement.  “The individuals heading up this campaign are professional, each of them has extensive experience in running successful campaigns, and I look forward to working closely with this talented team of experts to take our message to the people of this country and get America working again.”

What is striking about the backgrounds of Perry’s core team, including his chief strategist Dave Carney, is the familiarity they have with Perry, which has been evident in the way his nascent campaign has hit the ground running while catapaulting to the lead in national and state polls from South Carolina to Nevada.

Below are the the bios of Perry’s team, provided by the campaign, and condensed to highlight each person’s past associations with Perry.  

–Rob Johnson has extensive experience in political campaigns and government relations. He recently served as senior advisor to Gov. Perry in the Texas Governor’s Office. Johnson previously served as campaign manager to the governor’s successful 2010 gubernatorial re-election campaign.

— Deirdre Delisi has most recently served as the chair of the Texas Transportation Commission, which oversees the statewide activities of the Texas Department of Transportation. Delisi has more than 14 years experience in government policy. She served as chief of staff and deputy chief of staff to Gov. Perry, and served as his special assistant when he was lieutenant governor. 

— Wayne Hamilton is the past executive director of the Republican Party of Texas. … After the historic Republican victories of 2002, including Gov. Perry’s election, Hamilton served as executive director of the 2003 Texas Inaugural Committee. In 2007, and again in 2011, Hamilton was again asked to serve as the executive director of the Inaugural Committees. He is a graduate of Dallas Baptist University in Dallas.

— Ray Sullivan has 22 years of government and public relations experience, most recently serving as Gov. Perry’s chief of staff at the Texas Capitol.

— A veteran speechwriter, communications consultant, and political adviser to candidates and officeholders, Bearse … has worked for six political campaigns in Texas – including Gov. Perry’s campaigns for lieutenant governor and governor – and consulted on several political campaigns in the 2008 and 2010 election cycle.

— Miner served as communications director for Gov. Perry during the 2011 and 2009 legislative sessions. He also recently served as communications director for Gov. Perry’s successful 2010 gubernatorial re-election campaign.

— Black has more than a decade of political and government experience, most recently serving as the director of governmental affairs for American Electric Power.  He served as Gov. Perry’s press secretary and communications director from 2003 to 2008, as well as directing the governor’s communications efforts during his successful 2006 gubernatorial re-election bid. 

— Cesinger has worked for Gov. Perry for nearly seven years, most recently serving as his press secretary at the state capitol. Prior to that, she served as deputy press secretary for three years.