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Newsom names 4 to communications roles in governor’s office

December 13, 2018

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Incoming California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday he is hiring four people to oversee his communications with the public and media, including the chief of staff to former state first lady Maria Shriver and his campaign spokesman.

Newsom announced that Daniel Zingale will lead the Governor’s Office of Strategic Communications and Public Engagement and Nathan Click will serve as the governor’s chief spokesman and director of public affairs.

Zingale is a senior vice president at the California Endowment, a health care foundation, and previously was Shriver’s top aide, an adviser to her husband, Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the cabinet secretary for Democratic Gov. Gray Davis.

He also was the first chief of the Department of Managed Health Care and served on the Agricultural Labor Relations Board.

Click is a veteran Democratic campaign operative who was Newsom’s chief spokesman during the campaign and transition. Click’s former clients include U.S. Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Doug Jones of Alabama and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii.

Newsom also hired labor leader Priscilla Cheng and California Endowment communications director Maricela Rodriguez for top communications roles.

Cheng, who will be Newsom’s director of external affairs, is currently working on his transition and was a political adviser to his campaign. She was chief of staff for the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

Rodriguez will be Newsom’s director of civic engagement and strategic partnerships. At the California Endowment, she oversaw communications for its campaigns to promote coverage through President Barack Obama’s health care law and a state expansion of health benefits to young people living in the country illegally. She was previously an adviser to Shriver.

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