Sen. Elizabeth Warren. | Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Elizabeth Warren has hired two senior officials from Julián Castro’s presidential campaign: campaign manager Maya Rupert and political director Natalie Montelongo, a Warren official told POLITICO Tuesday.
Rupert, who previously was a senior policy adviser for Castro at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and before that worked at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, will be a senior adviser and serve as a campaign surrogate. Montelongo, who previously worked at the ACLU and in Nevada and Colorado during Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, will be a senior strategist focusing on political and constituency outreach along with the campaign’s surrogate program.
Both are among the highest-ranking women of color in the Democratic presidential politics this cycle.
“Maya Rupert and Natalie Montelongo have both done important work breaking down barriers and paving the way for others to follow,” Warren told POLITICO in a statement. “I’m grateful that these two exceptionally talented women have joined our fight for big, structural change.”
The two additions are part of a larger Castro-Warren fusion in the weeks since he dropped out of the presidential race and endorsed the Massachusetts senator.
He has become a go-to surrogate, making stops in Iowa, Nevada, and New York, sometimes without Warren. In addition, several lawmakers who supported Castro’s bid have thrown their support behind Warren. That includes Castro’s twin brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), who campaigned in the Hawkeye State Tuesday and will be doing a joint appearance with his brother Wednesday in Denison, Iowa.
Several more of Castro’s top aides — organizing director Lillie Catlin, director of scheduling and advance Shereen Zaid, and South Carolina state director Christina Cue — have also joined the Warren campaign. Other junior staffers are expected to join Warren’s campaign in the coming weeks.