Capitol Alert: Abel Maldonado names new team in campaign for governor

dsiders@sacbee.comOctober 3, 2013 

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XXXXX xxxxxManny Crisostomo Bee file, 2010 Abel Maldonado, left, at a state Senate hearing in 2010.

Abel Maldonado, whose split with his strategists this summer raised questions about the fitness of the Republican's campaign for governor, announced Thursday that he has assembled a new group of advisers.

Ron Nehring, the former California Republican Party chairman who came on to help Maldonado in the interim, will stay on as the former lieutenant governor's senior adviser.

Among the rest of the team, the highest profile adviser is Rick Tyler, former press secretary for Newt Gingrich. Tyler will be Maldonado's chief media strategist.

The campaign also named a pollster, Ed Goeas; a political director, Jimmy Camp; and a handful of other advisers.

The announcement comes as California Republicans prepare to gather in Anaheim this weekend for their biannual convention. Maldonado plans to address delegates on Saturday.

Maldonado faces a steep climb in heavily Democratic California. Gov. Jerry Brown has not yet said if he will seek re-election, but he is widely expected to run for an unprecedented fourth term next year.

"Everyone knows it's an uphill fight," Nehring said, but added that Maldonado "is not a Republican candidate who's been sent down from central casting."

He said the campaign "has done a lot of work over the last two months. We've got a good team."

Maldonado's chief strategist, media strategist and campaign manager all departed from Maldonado's campaign for governor this summer. Whether they left at their choice or were asked to go is a matter of dispute.

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