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Kamala Harris names Jamal Simmons as communications director

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Kamala Harris names Jamal Simmons as communications director
Jamal Simmons was named as communications director for Vice President Kamala Harris. Photo courtesy of Jamal Simmons/Wikimedia Commons

Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Vice President Kamala Harris has chosen Jamal Simmons, a veteran communications aide among Democrats, to be her communications director on Thursday.

An official announcement was expected from the White House on Thursday although a start date for Simmons remains unclear.

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A gap opened when Harris' two top aides, spokesperson Symone Sanders and communications director Ashley Etienne, left the office last year.

Etienne left in November citing other opportunities while Sanders left in December. A replacement for Sanders hasn't been named yet.

Two other staffers announced Wednesday that they are leaving Harris' office: director of press operations Peter Velz and director of public engagement and intergovernmental affairs Vincent Evans.

Velz tweeted that he was joining the protocol team at the State Department and Evans said he would become the executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Simmons has been a regular presence on cable news and a familiar name among Democratic politics. He's worked in politics and media for more than two decades and helped elect former Democratic presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

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