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CHC Hires Lopez

The Congressional Hispanic Conference has named Mario Lopez as the new executive director of the organization.

Lopez has a good deal of experience on Capitol Hill, having served as the deputy director of coalitions and outreach for now-retired Rep. J.C. Watts’ (Okla.) Republican Conference. He was also the press secretary for the Congressional members of the Census Monitoring Board and an appointee of President Bush to the Interior Department.

A native of San Diego, Lopez is the son of Mexican immigrants. He did his undergraduate work at the University of San Diego, receiving a bachelor’s degree in political science. He went on to do graduate work at the University of Southern California in professional writing and political science.

The CHC is a group of Congressmen dedicated to “voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanic Americans in the United States,” according to its Web site. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla). says that the Caucus is “pleased to have Mario on board.”

Thomas Hires Three. Sen. Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.) has hired three new staff members for his Washington, D.C., office.

Cameron Hardy, 35, has been brought on board as the Senator’s new press secretary. After spending some time in the Coast Guard, where he began his career in journalism, Hardy attended the University of Montana. He received a bachelor’s in journalism and photojournalism in 1997. Hardy is married to Megan Selanders-Hardy, and the two have a daughter, Kyandra. After graduating, the Hamilton, Mont., native spent several years working at newspapers around the Northwest, including a two-year stint at the Casper Star-Tribune as the assistant state editor and a community news editor. In 2002 he started his own public relations firm.

The new tax counsel for the Senator is Kimberly Pinter. Before joining Thomas’ office, Pinter spent nine years at the National Association of Manufacturers. Her duties included developing and communicating policy for Congress.

The 36-year-old has been recognized by the media as an expert in her field, having appeared on CNN, CNBC and the BBC to talk about financial policies.

Hailing from Titusville, Fla., Pinter received a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and Spanish from George Washington University in 1988. She received her master’s in linguistics from George Mason University in 1991 and her law degree from Wake Forest in 1994.

Erin Tuggle has been hired as legislative assistant for health care. Prior to taking on health care issues for the Senator, Tuggle worked for Thomas as a legislative aide, focusing on welfare reform, adoption, children’s issues and social policy.

Before coming back to Thomas’ office, Tuggle worked for the Wyoming Department of Health in the substance abuse division. The 28-year-old graduated from Colorado College with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish in 1998.

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