Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who is locked in a heated U.S. Senate runoff, is adding some firepower to his communications team.
Mark Miner, who worked for Dewhurst before becoming Gov. Rick Perry’s most recognizable spokesman, is joining the lieutenant governor’s campaign for U.S. Senate this week.
The new hire comes at a critical time for Dewhurst. The lieutenant governor and wealthy businessman is facing former Solicitor General Ted Cruz, a Tea Party darling, in the July 31 runoff election.
Their race has grown increasingly bitter, exposing a rift in the Texas Republican Party. Last weekend at the state party convention, Dewhurst was booed when he attacked Cruz in a speech to delegates.
The Dewhurst campaign is portraying Cruz as a puppet of “Washington special interests,” highlighting his support from national conservative groups who have poured money into his campaign. Cruz says Dewhurst is an establishment moderate who is too willing to compromise with Democrats.
Miner is no stranger to internecine battles at both the state and national level. He helped guide Perry to a resounding re-election victory in 2010 over U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. It was Miner who came up with the nickname “Kay Bailout” to remind voters that Hutchison supported the $700 billion Wall Street bailout.
Miner also worked on Perry’s presidential campaign, which ended in January. Miner previously served as a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore and former California gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon. Miner worked for Dewhurst at the state Capitol from 2003 to 2006.
Son of the late federal judge Roger Miner, Mark Miner has worked as a private consultant since leaving the Perry presidential campaign.
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