Meet Sen. Ted Cruz’s staff
By Richard Dunham on February 10, 2013 at 4:18 PM
As a service to our readers, we’d like to share with you the backgrounds of new Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s staff. Their experience ranges from the governor’s office in Austin to both Bush White Houses to Tea Party politics. Included are veterans ofthe offices ofSen. John Cornyn and former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison — even a couple of reporters. (Don’t hold that against them.)
There are six women and six men on the Houston Republican’s senior staff.
The University of Texas is well-represented, and there are two Alabama grads. (Don’t tell the Aggies.)
Here are capsule biographies of key Cruz staffers:
Chip Roy, Chief of Staff: Roy most recently served as a senior advisor to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Prior to that, he was appointed by Gov. Perry as director of State-Federal Relations for the State of Texas. He is also a past Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Texas and formerly served Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) as staff director of his leadership office and senior counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee. In addition, he spent nearly 3 years as an investment banking analyst with NationsBanc Capital Markets.
Brooke Bacak, Legislative Director: Bacak formerly served as U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) Senate Judiciary Committee chief counsel as well as on the staffs of Sens. Kyl and Sessions. Before returning to Washington to join Sen. Cruz, she was an assistant dean at the University of Alabama School of Law. Brooke holds a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University and law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law.
Amanda Carpenter, Senior Communications Advisor and Speechwriter: Carpenter was previously senior communications advisor and speechwriter to U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). In 2011, The Washington Post named her one of the “Top 10 Capitol Hill Staffers to watch.” In 2009, Politico named her as one of the top five “best new TV pundits.” She is formerly a columnist, reporter and blogger for the Washington Times. Carpenter has also worked as national political reporter for Townhall.com and as a Capitol Hill reporter for Human Events. She received a bachelor’s degree in communications studies from Ball State University.
Catherine Frazier, Press Secretary: Frazier most recently served as press secretary to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, for whom she has worked since 2007. She was also deputy press secretary to his presidential primary campaign and in the Governor’s Office during Texas’ 2011 legislative session. Prior to that, she was deputy communications director to Gov. Perry’s 2010 general election campaign and deputy press secretary during the 2010 primary campaign. Frazier grew up in Houston and received bachelor’s degrees in government and public relations from the University of Texas at Austin.
Scott Keller, Chief Counsel: Keller is an attorney from Austin, where he most recently practiced at Yetter Coleman LLP. Scott clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, was a Bristow Fellow in the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Solicitor General, and clerked for Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Scott holds a law degree from the University of Texas and a bachelor’s degree in political science and philosophy from Purdue University.
Max Pappas, Senior Economist and Director of Outreach: Pappas most recently served as vice president of public policy and government affairs at FreedomWorks, as well as executive director and treasurer of the FreedomWorks PAC. He began his career at the Cato Institute and worked for several years with best-selling author P.J. O’Rourke. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the College of the Holy Cross and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics.
Sean Rushton, Communications Director: Rushton most recently worked on the Cruz campaign as senior advisor for communications. Previously, he was director of corporate communications at Mission Essential Personnel, LLC, communications director at the U.S. Small Business Administration, executive director of C. Boyden Gray’s Committee for Justice, media director at Citizens Against Government Waste, press secretary for U.S. Rep. Bill Archer (R-Texas), and deputy press secretary for U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.). He has bachelor and master’s degrees from Georgetown University.
John Drogin, State Director: Drogin served as campaign manager for Cruz. He previously worked on both of U.S. Sen. John Cornyn’s Senate campaigns in 2002 and 2008, and served as his Senate press secretary in Washington, DC for over five years. Prior to that, Drogin was a journalist in Rome for two years covering the Vatican and world affairs.
Katharine McAden, Deputy State Director: Katharine Priddy McAden served most recently as Operations Director on Sen. Cruz’s campaign. Her other experience includes nearly five years with U.S. Sen. John Cornyn’s Austin regional office, Legislative Director for State Representative ‘Four’ Price, and statewide political campaigns of Attorney General Greg Abbott, Sen. John Cornyn, and a seat on the Texas Railroad Commission. Katharine is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and a Dallas native.
Jonathon McClellan, State Outreach Director: Jonathon has a background in political campaigns and legislative work, having worked on a presidential campaign, for the Governor of Texas, as a Chief of Staff in the Texas House of Representatives and numerous statewide and local races across the great state of Texas. Most recently Jonathon served as the Political Director for Sen. Cruz’s successful primary, primary runoff and general election campaigns. Jonathon McClellan is a proud graduate of Baylor University who married his college sweetheart Sarah. They reside in Austin with their two dogs, Hank and Lucy.
Dougie Simmons, Director of Scheduling: Simmons most recently worked as director of events for the Republican National Committee, managing event planning for the Romney Victory effort. Prior to that she was director of scheduling for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and an associate at the Larrison Group. She served in the Bush Administration in several capacities from 2003-2007 including as a scheduler to President George W. Bush and as executive assistant to director of the National Economic Council, Al Hubbard. Simmons received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama.
Kimberly Levernier, Administrative Director: Levernier most recently worked as administrative director for Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) and prior to that, she was administrative director to Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), where she served for more than 5 years. She previously worked as the North American events manager at Alltech, a biotechnology company, where she oversaw events across the entire western hemisphere, including 18 Latin American countries, 26 states and all of the Canadian provinces. Levernier received a dual bachelor’s degree in international relations and Spanish from Centre College.