Biden campaign announces first Texas hires for general election

Biden campaign announces first Texas hires for general election
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Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenOmar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Trump mocks Biden appearance, mask use ahead of first debate Trump attacks Omar for criticizing US: 'How did you do where you came from?' MORE’s campaign announced its first Texas hires for the general election on Monday, as polls show the race for president tightening in the Lone Star state. 

Biden’s Texas state director will be Rebecca Acuña, who has worked for various Texas state legislators and has most recently served as the director of government affairs at PepsiCo, according to a Biden campaign statement. 

Biden’s deputy state director will be Jennifer Longoria, who served as Texas director for Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHarris joins women's voter mobilization event also featuring Pelosi, Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda Judd Gregg: The Kamala threat — the Californiaization of America GOP set to release controversial Biden report MORE’s (D-Mass.) campaign in Texas during the primary. Biden’s campaign has hired Tariq Thowfeek, a former Texas Democratic Party communications director who has since worked at Facebook, as his communications director. 

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The Biden campaign has also named Mike Collier, the 2018 Democratic nominee for Texas lieutenant governor, as senior adviser, and named Jane Hamilton, a political strategist based in Texas, as strategic adviser. 

Shekira Dennis, a Houston political consultant, will serve as the campaign’s director of coalitions. 

The campaign hires come as Biden closes a gap in support between him and President TrumpDonald John TrumpOmar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Pelosi: Trump hurrying to fill SCOTUS seat so he can repeal ObamaCare Trump mocks Biden appearance, mask use ahead of first debate MORE in recent polls. Last month, the Biden campaign also launched its first general election TV ad in Texas. 

Trump won Texas in 2016 by 9 points. A Democratic presidential candidate hasn’t won the state since former President Carter in 1976, but it is among a number of key states the Democratic National Convention is targeting as part of its “Battleground Build-Up 2020” program.

The Texas Democratic Party congratulated the new Biden hires. 

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“By enlisting a state team of experienced Texans and making hard investment in the Texas Democratic Party’s coordinated campaign, the Biden campaign is treating Texas like the biggest battleground state that we are,” Texas Democratic Party executive director Manny Garcia and deputy executive director Cliff Walker said in a joint statement. 

“Poll after poll shows Texas is up for grabs, with Joe Biden leading in most recent polls. Through unprecedented coordination, innovation, and smart investments, we will win,” they added.

—Updated at 4:32 p.m.