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Sen. Cruz Announces Staff Updates

Promotes Sean McLean to Legislative Director and Austin Smithson to Domestic Policy Advisor

December 20, 2018

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today announced new staff roles in his Senate D.C. office. Effective immediately, Sean McLean will be fulfilling the role of Legislative Director, and Austin Smithson as the Domestic Policy Advisor. 

“Sean and Austin have been exceptional assets to my office and the people of Texas, serving as experts for their legislative portfolios while helping to secure numerous victories for the Lone Star State and all Americans,” Sen. Cruz said. “I am confident that they will continue the fight for freedom and economic growth as they advance into their new roles. And I look forward to working with each of them as we head into a new legislative session to represent the values and concerns of Texans in Washington.” 

Sean McLean, Legislative Director: McLean has over a decade of experience working in the United States Congress, and for the past four years has handled the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation portfolio for Sen. Cruz. In addition to handling issues before the full committee, McLean has also managed Sen. Cruz’s priorities as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness. Under McLean’s leadership, Sen. Cruz has passed five bipartisan bills that have been signed into law by Presidents Obama and Trump. Previously, McLean worked for U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) for over seven years in a number of positions, including Legislative Director. 

Austin Smithson, Domestic Policy Advisor: Smithson, a native of Tyler, most recently served as Director of the ‘Hurricane Harvey Working Group’ in Sen. Cruz’s D.C. office, where he oversaw the office’s response to Hurricane Harvey and worked to ensure Texans and Texas communities impacted by the storm received the federal assistance needed to recover and rebuild. Prior to that, Smithson served as Legislative Counsel for Sen. Cruz, handling issues critical to Texas, including energy, agriculture, environment, and transportation. Before joining Cruz’s office, he was Legislative Director and Legislative Counsel to Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), and also practiced law in San Antonio. 

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