Jeb Bush is bringing on a pair of veteran political consultants, including a former ad-maker for Ron Paul and Ted Cruz, for his all-but-certain presidential campaign.
Jon Downs and Danny Diaz, both founding partners in the Washington-based political firm FP1 Strategies, will help steer advertising and messaging efforts for Bush’s Right To Rise Leadership PAC, an adviser to Bush told CNN.
“We’re excited Jon and Danny are joining our team,” said Bush adviser Sally Bradshaw. “Their expertise and experience will be critical to communicating Governor Bush’s conservative ideas for greater economic growth and opportunity.”
They will hold similar roles on a potential campaign if Bush decides to officially become a candidate, a prospect that appears likelier by the day. Last week, Bush picked up David Kochel, a veteran Iowa operative and longtime adviser to Mitt Romney, to serve as an adviser to the PAC and likely campaign manager.
Both Downs and Diaz are steeped in campaign experience dating back to the George W. Bush era.
Diaz worked on the Bush-Cheney re-elect of 2004 and was a top communications officer on John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. He has also served as communications director for Republican National Committee and a senior adviser to Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign. Diaz has advised New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. He also worked on Ken Cuccinelli’s unsuccessful 2013 gubernatorial bid in Virginia.
Downs, too, has roots in Bush-world, having worked on George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign and in his administration. In 2014, Downs cut ads for the Alaska Senate campaign of Dan Sullivan, a former National Security Council official in the Bush White House.
But in recent years, Downs, known for his hard-hitting and occasionally quirky style, has taken on clients outside the Republican establishment. He produced ads for Ted Cruz’s Texas Senate campaign in 2012 and tea party hero Allen West’s congressional campaign in 2010.
During the 2012 presidential race, Downs surprised many of his Washington GOP peers by taking on Texas Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian icon and father of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, as a client. Downs crafted a variety of tough and attention-grabbing commercials attacking Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum before Paul’s campaign faltered in the early primary states.