John Chiang | Press Releases

John Chiang Rounds Out Campaign Team With Additional Firepower In Push Before June Primary


Campaign Team and Consultants Are Veteran California Operatives With Victories Across the State and Country


LOS ANGELES, CA  California State Treasurer John Chiang today announced new additions to his campaign and consulting team leading up to the June 5 primary. The team is full of veteran California campaign operatives with numerous victories, who add to the talent already on the ground.

“I can’t be more proud and excited to welcome this extra firepower to our team. With a fully staffed campaign operation, we will now be able to contact more voters, conduct more interviews, and raise more donations as we approach the final stretch towards the June primary,” said Treasurer Chiang. “Like every winning campaign, we’re bringing on additional talent and incredible leadership that I am confident will not only give us a reason to celebrate in June, but will also lead us to victory come November. We’ve accomplished great things in California, but this team is helping to ensure we will provide California with an even brighter future.”

Senior level management of the campaign team includes:

  • Campaign Manager: Preston Elliott
  • Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director: Fabien Levy
  • Finance Director: Lisa Cassinis
  • Policy Director: Morgan Miller
  • General Consultants: Left Hook, led by partners Brandon Hall, Raghu Devaguptapu, and Orrin Evans
  • Strategic Consultant: Hilltop Public Solutions, led by partner Courtni Pugh

Campaign Manager: Preston Elliott

Leading the campaign is one of the most experienced and respected campaign managers in the nation: Preston Elliott. With nearly two decades of experience working across the United States, from North Carolina to Alaska, Elliott has managed top-tier Senate races for former U.S. Senator Kay Hagan in 2014 and for U.S. Senator Jon Tester in 2012. Most recently, Elliott served as the Deputy Executive Director at the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, picking up two seats, and previously served as the Nevada Coordinated Campaign Director in 2010, executing the field program credited with former U.S. Senator Harry Reid’s re-election victory. Elliott began his career in the Midwest working on former U.S. Senator Tim Johnson’s race in 2002 and in the Iowa Caucus leading up to the 2004 presidential election.

Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director: Fabien Levy

Fabien Levy has started as Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director for the campaign. Levy comes to the team with a bevy of California campaign experience, having worked on former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer’s re-election in 2010 and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s re-election in 2006. In the past, Levy also served as Communications Director for former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu’s 2014 re-election and for former Congresswoman (and now Lieutenant Governor of New York) Kathy Hochul’s stunning special election victory in 2011, after which he served as Communications Director in the congresswoman’s Capitol Hill office. Levy also previously worked in the Obama Administration as the Press Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and served as a spokesperson for the Affordable Care Act. Additionally, Levy worked on both of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns, in 2008 and 2016.

Finance Director: Lisa Cassinis

Lisa Cassinis will continue in her role as Finance Director for the campaign after impressively raising nearly $11.5 million for the campaign. Cassinis has a wide breath of experience on Democratic campaigns and for progressive causes. Over the past 17 years, she has represented candidates and campaigns at every level of California politics. She began her political career with the California Democratic Party, eventually becoming Finance Director.  Since then, Cassinis has worked on statewide campaigns for both California Attorney General and Secretary of State in 2010, for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s re-election in 2012, and for Treasurer John Chiang’s election in 2014.

Policy Director: Morgan Miller

Morgan Miller — a political and communications professional based in the Los Angeles area — has started as Policy Director for the campaign. For seven years, Miller served as a senior staff member in the national AFL-CIO’s Political Department in Washington, DC, where she managed research and communications programs for political, legislative, and issue campaigns for the Federation’s 12 million members and for the Federation’s SuperPAC: Workers’ Voice. A Southern California native, Miller got her start in politics at the California Democratic Party and has served in a variety of campaign roles for the National Democratic Institute, Rock the Vote, and Working America.

General Consultants: Left Hook

Brandon Hall

Brandon Hall has over two decades of experience on campaigns, and has written and directed award-winning ads credited with winning some of the most competitive races in the country. Before joining Left Hook, Hall was a founding partner at Kully Hall Struble. Prior to his work as a media consultant, Hall had success managing campaigns at every level. In 2010, he managed then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s re-election campaign, and in 2008, he served as a senior advisor to former U.S. Senator Mark Begich’s campaign in Alaska. Hall also served as the Western Political Director and Western Financial Services Director for the Democratic Campaign Congressional Committee, worked on multiple congressional races and ballot initiative campaigns, and served as a legislative aide on the Hill in Washington, D.C.

Raghu Devaguptapu

Raghu Devaguptapu has over twenty years of campaign experience and heads Left Hook’s Washington, DC office. A seasoned strategist, Raghu has led high profile independent expenditure, congressional, and statewide elections across the country, including Congressman Ami Bera’s historic upset win in 2012 and subsequent re-election, which was one of the most expensive congressional races in history. Raghu was the first Asian American to be named Political Director of a national party committee — first at the DLCC and then at the DGA. While at the DLCC, he helped flip 30 chambers into Democratic control — the largest partisan Democratic shift in our nation’s history. Raghu also managed the independent expenditure and issue advocacy program for AFSCME, overseeing one of the largest programs in Democratic politics. Prior to joining Left Hook, Raghu was a partner at A|L Media.

Orrin Evans

Orrin Evans has over a decade of experience in campaign management, strategic communications, and public affairs. In 2014, Evans served as campaign manager for Alex Padilla’s historic candidacy for California Secretary of State. And in 2010, Evans served on the political team for U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer’s re-election campaign, producing message events and mobilizing constituency groups. Evans cut his political teeth working for then-Senator Barack Obama in the first in the nation Iowa presidential caucuses, leading the field operation in Dubuque in 2007. In the 2008 general election, Evans managed the winning Indiana Get Out the Vote operation, which resulted in the first Democratic presidential victory in the state in 44 years. After President Obama took office, Evans joined the Obama Administration, serving as a Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, focusing on communications strategies around major Administration initiatives, including First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s Rural Tour.

Senior Advisor: Hilltop Public Solutions, led by partner Courtni Pugh

Hilltop Public Solutions has also been brought on as strategy consultants for the campaign, led by partner Courtni Pugh. At Hilltop, Pugh heads all California-based operations for the firm, leading a number of initiatives for political and non-profit causes. Prior to joining Hilltop, Pugh served as Executive Director of SEIU Local 99, and in this capacity was elected serve on the SEIU International Executive Board. She was also the first woman to serve as Political Director of the LA County Federation of Labor. In 2016, Pugh served as California Deputy State Director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in the Democratic primary, and was also the political advisor to Senate Democrats, where she led them to a 2/3 majority. A veteran political strategist and community organizer, Pugh has managed numerous multi-million dollar independent expenditure campaigns in California, including one of the largest Latino Outreach Campaigns in support of Brown for Governor, Cambiando California. Pugh has also had numerous appearances in Capitol Weekly’s Top 100 List.


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