BY Patrick Svitek
Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro is staffing up a month and a half into his campaign, adding to his national team and unveiling his first hires in New Hampshire.
Castro, the former U.S. housing secretary and San Antonio mayor, has tapped Greg Diamond to serve as the campaign’s chief operating officer and Natalie Montelongo to be its political director, the campaign told The Texas Tribune. Diamond most recently served as deputy chief operating officer at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, while Montelongo is coming from the American Civil Liberties Union, where she was national campaign strategist for immigrants rights. Both have presidential campaign experience — Diamond was part of Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election bid, while Montelongo worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 bid in Nevada and Colorado.
In New Hampshire, the first-in-the-nation primary state, Castro has brought on board Manny Espitia as state director and Lauren Reyes as organizing director. Espitia is a newly elected state representative who served last year as executive director of the Nashua Democratic City Committee. Reyes comes from Virginia, where she was field director for U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine’s re-election bid last year as well as the state party’s coordinated campaign.
Also at the national level, Castro has selected Shereen Zaid as his director of scheduling and advance. A veteran of event planning, she has worked for the Texas Democratic Party, The Hill and Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
Diamond, Montelongo and Zaid join another recent addition to Castro’s San Antonio-based national staff: deputy national press secretary Sawyer Hackett. He most recently served as communications director for U.S. Rep. David Price of North Carolina and previously worked for Castro at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The latest hires come on the heels of Castro’s first visit to Iowa as a declared candidate. At the conclusion of the trip Saturday, his campaign announced its top staffers there, naming Cynthia Sebian-Lander as state director and Marika Bresler as organizing director.