Of mouthpieces in Arizona politics

C.J. Karamargin

By Phil Riske | Senior Reporter/Writer and former press secretary in Washington DC.

Governor Doug Ducey’s communications team has suffered through bad headlines and nearly constant animosity with the press since the pandemic began, The Yellow Sheet Report (YS) said Wednesday. 

Today, reporters and fellow PR professionals hailed the hire as a big step in the right direction for better relations with the 9th Floor, YS said.

C.J. Karamargin, the former reporter turned Giffords spokesman turned McSally staffer, is the new spokesman for Ducey, replacing Patrick Ptak.

“C.J. has a track record and proven ability to work with media, stakeholders and the public to communicate proactively and effectively,” Ducey said in a statement.

Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services

While Karamargin is far from the first congressional staffer to cross the aisle, says YS, his teaming up with the McSally camp left a lot of hurt feelings in Tucson.

Ducey’s hiring of Karamargin highlights the small world of Arizona politics.

Karamargin also preceded Ducey Chief of Staff Daniel Scarpinato at the Arizona Daily Star. 

With my experience as a press secretary to U.S. Senator Gale McGee and as witnessed by today’s poltical mouthpieces often getting as much publicity as their bosses, I would allow as how it is rare a press secretary since JFK were or is praised or respected. 

You just take your lumps as long as you’re a straight-shooter.

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November 2020