Heard on the Hill

Senators Help Raise Money for Harris Staffer’s Cancer Battle

Former colleague from Clinton campaign running Chicago marathon to fundraise

Tyrone Gayle, right, talks with Hillary Clinton at her campaign HQ in New York. (Barb Kinney/Clinton campaign file photo)

One former Hillary Clinton campaign press aide is running the Chicago Marathon money to help another’s battle against cancer.

And the effort is getting a little help from some prominent senators.

Tyrone Gayle, who has been Sen. Kamala Harris’ press secretary since the California Democrat arrived in the Senate, was diagnosed with colon cancer back during the 2016 campaign cycle, and he continues to fight.

So it is no surprise that Harris would be among the boosters of a GoFundMe effort by Jesse Lehrich, a fellow former Clinton spokesman and friend of Gayle’s who is running next month’s Chicago Marathon.

“My Press Secretary @TyroneGayle has been by my side since I took office — and is always running around in the halls or on the track,” she tweeted.

Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine has already joined in. “In 2012, @TyroneGayle was one of my closest campaign aides. We drove all over Virginia together. A former Clemson track star, he hasn’t run much since his cancer diagnosis,” Kaine said. “Now his friends run for him and have set up this cool fundraiser. Give if you can!” Lehrich, who is currently communication director at OFA, concedes he is not nearly as accomplished of a runner as Gayle. Gayle ran Division I track at Clemson.

“Both Tyrone and I were prolific runners in college — he ran D-1 track, and I once ran away from an RA without spilling either of my beers. As coworkers, we often bonded over our shared passion,” Lehrich wrote.

Lehrich set a goal of raising $50,000 through the effort to help Gayle and his family with medical costs and related expenses.

Gayle talked about his battle with cancer in his alma mater’s The Newsstand last year.

“While I breathe, I hope,” he said, quoting the state motto spoken by South Carolina Rep. James E. Clyburn at Gayle’s 2010 graduation, which he’s taken to heart.

“I beat cancer once and will beat it again,” he said then.

And he expressed his appreciation for those who are helping in his fight.

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