The Gwen Graham campaign announced that it has brought on Bettina Weiss as its new press secretary.
Campaign communications director Matt Harringer announced the hire in a Friday email.
Weiss is an alumna of Connecticut College, where she earned a bachelor’s in American studies, and Johns Hopkins University, where she earned a master’s in political communications. She moved over to campaign last month, relocating to Orlando from Washington, D.C. where she spent nearly 2 years working for Americans for Responsible Solutions, a super PAC that supports stricter gun laws, such as background checks for private sales and a ban on assault-style weapons.
ARS, also known as Giffords, was started by former Arizona Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords and her husband, retired astronaut and Navy Captain Mark Kelly. Giffords’ political career was cut short by a 2011 assassination attempt that left her with a severe brain injury.
Weiss’ resume also includes work as a crisis counselor with the Crisis Text Line, as a prevention coordinator for sexual violence resource center healingSPACE, and as a gun violence prevention reporter for Generation Progress, the youth-centered offshoot of progressive think tank Center for American Progress.
Weiss’ addition signals the Graham campaign’s continued focus on gun violence in the four-way Democratic Primary for governor. The issue has been front and center in the gubernatorial race in the weeks since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
Weiss has been with the Graham campaign for a few weeks, first as an assistant to the former Democratic congresswoman.
A lot of gun safety voters used their voices yesterday to say #NeverAgain. Who’s your candidate? Mine is @GwenGraham. She’s going to be the first female governor of Florida, and she has already beat the NRA to serve in Congress. 💪 #marchforourlives pic.twitter.com/7p54XyhnEM
— Bettina Weiss (@bweiss22) March 25, 2018
Graham faces Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Winter Park businessman Chris King and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine in the Democratic Primary to replace Gov. Rick Scott, who is termed out and likely to run for U.S. Senate in the fall.
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Northeast Florida U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis are running in the Republican Primary, with House Speaker Richard Corcoran expected to officially join the race in the coming weeks.