Skip to content

Sen. Cruz Establishes Hurricane Harvey Recovery Working Group

Names Austin Smithson director and Belsis Romero assistant director

HOUSTON, Texas – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today announced the establishment of the Hurricane Harvey working group in his Senate office to ensure swift and effective service to Texans and Texas communities in need of federal assistance following Hurricane Harvey. He named Austin Smithson director and Belsis Romero assistant director. In the coming days, Sen. Cruz will designate additional staff from his office as well as new staff to the group to ensure all regions impacted - from Corpus Christi to Orange - receive the services they will require to recover and rebuild.

Smithson, a native of Tyler, most recently worked as legislative counsel in Sen. Cruz’s D.C. office, handling issues critical to Texas, including energy, agriculture, environment, public lands, and transportation. Prior to joining Cruz’s office, he was legislative director and legislative counsel to Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), and also prior to that, practiced law in San Antonio. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio. 

Romero, raised in Houston and fluent in Spanish, most recently worked as a legislative aide in Sen. Cruz’s U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee office. She handled issues including life, religious liberty, human trafficking, immigration, and foreign policy. She also facilitated constituent correspondence in Spanish and translated communication materials. Romero previously served as a staff assistant in Sen. Cruz’s Washington office and prior to that, was a research associate at the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. Romero is a graduate of Houston Baptist University.  


Related Issues

  1. Natural Disasters