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Ruiz Announces Staff Appointments, Opening of District Office

Ruiz, a Democrat and emergency room doctor who will be sworn in Thursday, beat 14-year incumbent and Republican Mary Bono Mack in November to represent the redrawn 36th Congressional District, which spans from the Pass through Blythe.

Congressman-elect Raul Ruiz has announced his senior staff appointments, as well as plans for a local office set to open Monday.

Ruiz will open a district office at 777 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way in Palm Springs and wants to open offices in Indio and in the western part of the 36th Congressional District, said Kyle Layman, his chief of staff.

Ruiz, a Democrat and emergency room doctor who will be sworn in Thursday, beat 14-year incumbent and Republican Mary Bono Mack in November to represent the redrawn district.

Aside from Layman, his chief of staff, Ruiz appointed Greg Lucas Rodriguez as district director, Rebekah Rodriguez-Lynn as deputy district director, Orfa Torres-Jaen as legislative director and Whitney Michell as communications director.

"I'm excited about the experienced and highly-motivated senior team we have put together to lead my offices in the district and in Washington," Ruiz stated. "My senior staff shares my commitment to public service and has the knowledge and expertise to get to work on day one for the people of the 36th District. Under their leadership, my congressional offices will be engaged, accessible and aggressively focused on serving the needs of my constituents."

The following bios were sent out about each of the appointees: 

  • Kyle Layman will serve as Chief of Staff.  In his capacity as Ruiz’s 2012 campaign manager, Layman served as a key advisor for Ruiz's victory over seven-term incumbent Representative Mary Bono Mack. Layman is a native of Burlington, NC and a graduate of Wake Forest University and Georgetown University.
  • Greg Lucas Rodriguez will serve as District Director. Rodriguez, who will oversee all district operations and constituent services, has decades of experience working in public service and on various candidate and issue campaigns. He is a native of Huntington Beach, CA and a graduate of Gonzaga University.
  • Rebekah Rodriguez-Lynn will serve as Deputy District Director. She formerly served as District Director for California State Senator Fran Pavley and has also worked for the British Embassy and Congressman Joe Baca (D-CA). Rodriguez-Lynn is a native of Yucaipa, CA and a graduate of UCLA and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  • Orfa Torres-Jaen will serve as Legislative Director. Torres-Jaen has more than six years of Capitol Hill experience and has worked in various capacities on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. She is a native of Ontario, CA, a graduate of California State University-San Bernadino and George Mason University.
  • Whitney Mitchell will serve as Communications Director. Mitchell previously served as Communications Director and a legislative aide to U.S. Congressman Heath Shuler (D-NC).  She has also served in communications capacities on numerous Democratic campaigns. Mitchell is a native of Alexandria, VA and a graduate of Indiana University-Bloomington.
ATC January 03, 2013 at 09:53 PM
This is what's wrong with government today. Right off the bat, 5 highly educated (and therefore highly paid) staff members, not to mention the numerous support staff (office & clerical workers). And of course, additional offices in Indio and the western part of the district will require even more staff, as well as leased office space, all being paid for with our tax money. I'd be curious to know just exactly how much these "directors" are getting paid; just how much does each "office" cost us. Certainly didn't take him long to settle into politics as usual, did it? Heck, he isn't even officially sworn in yet. Just how much will "Ruiz"'s term in office actually cost us? Does anyone really wonder why the country is broke?
john k January 08, 2013 at 06:38 PM
Gary, I'm not trying to be a shill here...actually, I am a registered republican. In six months, suggest you volunteer to spend a day in the Congressman's Palm Springs office. I think you would be amazed at how busy those people are. Some people need help navigating the federal bureaucracy, and that's what they are there for.

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