New voices for East Bay House members

Two East Bay members of Congress have had changes in their press staff this week.

pete-stark.jpgBrian Cook took over as Rep. Pete Stark’s spokesman; Cook earlier was speechwriter to Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia, and also has worked as speechwriter and press aide to former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner and as press secretary to U.S. Senate candidate Harris Miller, who lost Virginia’s 2006 primary to Jim Webb.

Stark said he’s “delighted” to have Cook come aboard: “We are eager to put his acumen and work ethic to good use.” And Cook said he looks forward to helping Stark “continue the passionate advocacy and sound legislative achievement that has marked his very distinguished career in Congress.”

Cook replaces Yoni Cohen, who left to become the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee‘s western regional press secretary. Surely Cook knows that keeping the oft-salty, always outspoken Stark — whether he’s cursing at Capitol Police, reaming President Bush or just talking smack about legislation he doesn’t like — in line can be a challenge; let’s hope he’s up to it.

lee3.jpgThen, on Thursday, communications director Cleve Mesidor announced she’ll be leaving Rep. Barbara Lee‘s office and taking a job with a different House member; her replacement has not yet been named. Mesidor had just started working for the Oakland Democrat late last year after former Lee spokesman Nathan Britton jumped chambers to become U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer‘s press secretary. No replacement has been named yet.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.