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Democratic Staffer Killed During Louisiana Canvass, Ernst Hires New Spokeswoman

A staffer for the Louisiana Democratic Party died Saturday while canvassing for Landrieu. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

SeDestini Fields, a staffer for the Louisiana Democratic Party, died at 11 a.m. on Dec. 6 after a motorist struck her while she was canvassing for the Pelican State’s runoff elections, officials announced in a statement.  

Fields, 23, was struck by a pickup truck at while working to get out the vote in Shreveport, La., for Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu.  

Landrieu, who lost to now Sen.-elect Bill Cassidy, asked for prayers for Fields’ family during her concession speech, The Times-Picayune reported .  

"We want to acknowledge her and her family tonight," Landrieu said. "Our hearts are broken. Our family is in mourning with them tonight."  

State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, chairwoman of the LDP, said the entire party is in mourning.  

“SeDestini and her fiancé, Kazara, may have only worked for us for a short period of time, but they truly shared in a passion for making Louisiana a better place,” Peterson said in a release. “While I never had the opportunity to work with SeDestini, I am aware of her love of dancing and her passion to serve the community and help women who were less fortunate. I have worked with members of her family in recent years, and my heart is breaking for them.”  

Ernst Hires NRSC Staffer as Spokeswoman Brook Hougesen will return to Capitol Hill as communications director for Sen.-elect Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, The Des Moines Register reported Monday .  

Hougesen will join Ernst’s staff after serving as press secretary for the National Republican Senatorial Committee this year.  

Prior to her role at the NRSC, Hougesen worked on Capitol Hill for Illinois Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Peter Roskam, as well as former Rep. Geoff Davis of Kentucky.  

Avella Earns Promotion at GOPAC The Board of Directors for GOPAC — a group that trains Republican state legislators for higher office — announced Monday that it has promoted David Avella as chairman and CEO of the organization.  

Avella previously served as the group’s president. He succeeds Frank Donatelli, who held the role as chairman and CEO since 2009.  

“David has been a key part of the remarkable growth that GOPAC has experienced in the last 6 years,” Donatelli said in a news release. “This is why he was the Board’s unanimous choice to lead the organization as we expand our Called-Up program to elect state lawmakers to federal office as well as extend our efforts to elect and educate a new generation of Republicans at the state level.”  

GOPAC recruits and provides financial support for state lawmakers to run for higher office. This cycle, the group supported Ernst and Sen.-elect Thom Tillis, two state legislators who won in Iowa and North Carolina, respectively.  

Freshman Democrat Hires DNC Staffer as Communications Director Rep.-elect Ruben Gallego, the Democrat succeeding Democratic Rep. Ed Pastor in Arizona’s 7th District, hired Pili Tobar as communications director.  

Tobar comes to Gallego’s office from the Democratic National Committee, where she served as the national director of Hispanic media as well as western regional press secretary.  

Gallego also hired a handful of other staffers to lead his office, including David Montes, who will serve as chief of staff. Montes has been deputy chief of staff for outgoing Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla.  

Luis Heredia will serve as district director. Heredia heads to Gallego’s office after serving as campaign manager for Felecia Rotellini, who lost a race for Arizona’s attorney general last month.  

Related: Louisiana Runoff Results: Mary Landrieu Loses Shop Talk Archives The 114th: CQ Roll Call's Guide to the New Congress Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

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