Perry Names New Press Staff

Gov. hires old Dewhurst spokesman to head up his communications staff.

Switchin' desks at the Lege again.
Switchin' desks at the Lege again. (Photo by Richard Whittaker)

Gov. Rick Perry has appointed former lobbyist Mark Miner to replace his outgoing director of communications Robert Black. Deputy press secretary Allison Castle gets a promotion to become his press secretary, while Katherine Cesinger (previously a deputy spokesperson for Perry, currently over at his Governors Competitiveness Council) gets her old job back.

Miner (who endeded his lobbyist registration almost exactly a week ago, on Aug. 13) knows his way around the capital press corps. He was Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's long-time director of communications from 2003 to 2007. Prior to that his career was synonymous with that of Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore, serving as his campaign's senior communications strategist, his official communications director and, when Gilmore became its chair in 2001, spokesman for the Republican National Committee. So he should be used to the same desk/different hat approach round Perry's office.

In a press release, Perry said, "Mark brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to my office and will play a critical, strategic role in advancing a positive agenda." He added, "Allison has my complete confidence and will do a fantastic job as my lead spokesperson."

Full press release after the jump.

Gov. Perry Names Miner Communications Director; Castle Promoted to Press Secretary

AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry today named Mark Miner communications director and Allison Castle press secretary beginning Sept. 1, 2008. Additionally, Katherine Cesinger will return to the Governor's Press Office as deputy press secretary.

"Mark brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to my office and will play a critical, strategic role in advancing a positive agenda to keep Texas' education system strong, our border secure and our economy the strongest in the nation," Perry said. "Allison has my complete confidence and will do a fantastic job as my lead spokesperson."

Previously, Mark Miner served as director of communications to Lt. Governor David Dewhurst during two legislative sessions and six special sessions, developing and implementing statewide communications strategies. He has also served as communications director to former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore where he was senior communications strategist and chief spokesman for the Gilmore Administration, including more than 100 state agencies, commissions and boards.

Additionally, Miner served as press secretary for the successful Gilmore for Governor Campaign in Virginia, Communications Director to the former Virginia Attorney General and Communications Director for the Bill Simon for Governor Campaign in California. Miner's political experience also includes serving as director of communications for the Republican National Committee, where he was responsible for developing communications strategies supporting the policies of the president, members of Congress, federal and statewide candidates and the Republican Party. Miner graduated from Michigan State University in 1987 with a bachelor's degree in communications. He lives in Cedar Park with his wife, Robin, and their two children, Sydney and Zachary.

Castle has more than nine years' communications experience in both the public and private sectors and has served as a deputy press secretary for Gov. Perry since August 2007. Previously, she was a senior associate at ROSS Communications, a public affairs firm. Castle received a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Texas at Austin. She lives in Austin with her husband, Colby Eckols.

Cesinger will be returning to the Governor's Press Office as deputy press secretary, replacing Krista Piferrer who is leaving to become communications director for Baptist Child and Family Services in San Antonio. Cesinger previously served as Gov. Perry's deputy press secretary prior to becoming communications director for the Governors Competitiveness Council.

Miner and Castle replace longtime Perry spokesman Robert Black who is leaving to begin a public affairs consulting business.

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Governor's Office, Republicans, Rick Perry, Mark Miner, Allison Castle, Robert Black, Katherine Cesinger

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