- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, said Thursday that he’s bringing on a veteran of Sen. Ted Cruz’s 2012 campaign to serve as a strategist — one of the latest steps in the frenetic jockeying for staffers among the possible 2016 GOP presidential contenders — and is also opening a digital engagement office in Austin, Texas.

Mr. Paul announced the hiring of Rachel Kania, state field director during Mr. Cruz’s 2012 Senate campaign, as a senior field and technology strategist. Former Republican Party of Texas chairman Steve Munisteri recently stepped down from that post to join Mr. Paul’s RANDPAC as a senior adviser.

“Team Rand will be the most technologically-savvy campaign in the field and his message will inspire and widen the GOP base unlike any other candidate,” Ms. Kania said.

The Washington Times reported earlier this week that Brian Phillips is leaving his job as communications director for Sen. Mike Lee of Utah to serve as an adviser for Mr. Cruz’s Jobs Growth and Freedom Fund. And the Texas Tribune reported that Catherine Frazier, Mr. Cruz’s Capitol Hill spokeswoman, is also heading to work for the Texas Republican’s political action committee ahead of his possible 2016 presidential campaign.

The new office opening is scheduled for Monday — a day after Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith is scheduled to interview Mr. Paul at the SXSW conference, an eclectic annual music and film pilgrimage that this year is scheduled to include an appearance by Snoop Dogg, among others.

“Senator Rand Paul will run the most innovative, tech-forward operation of any elected official in the country,” said Vincent Harris, a digital strategist for Mr. Paul’s political operation who also used to work for Mr. Cruz. “This will be a crowd-sourced campaign that places an emphasis on creativity and innovation.”

The tech oriented office will be housed in the Capital Factory complex; Mr. Cruz spoke at Capital Factory in November to warn about the dangers of the federal government’s planned net neutrality regulations.

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