Congress

Sen.-elect Kamala Harris picks top deputy in California Attorney General’s office as her chief of staff

Senator-elect Kamala Harris speaks with immigrant families and their advocates, discussing the election results and the nation's future in Los Angeles, Thursday, Nov.10, 2016. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Senator-elect Kamala Harris speaks with immigrant families and their advocates, discussing the election results and the nation's future in Los Angeles, Thursday, Nov.10, 2016. (AP Photo/Nick Ut) AP

California’s newly elected Sen. Kamala Harris has named her top deputy in the state attorney general’s office to be her Senate chief of staff.

Harris, who leaves her position as California’s attorney general next month when she is sworn into the U.S. Senate, said Nathan Barankin is her “trusted adviser and right hand.”

“He is an exceptional lawyer, legislative expert and career public servant. He has served three different attorneys general of California in executive roles and has worked as a constitutional litigator and an adviser to the California Senate leadership for many years,” Harris said in a written statement.

Barankin, a native of San Diego, manages nearly 5,000 employees in the California attorney general’s office as Harris’ chief deputy. He was a litigator under then-Attorney General Jerry Brown as a deputy attorney general, and was communications director when Bill Lockyer was attorney general.

Barankin also spent six years working in the California Senate as a senior adviser to two president pro-tems.

Harris also named a team for her Senate transition that includes three co-chairs.

Those are Debbie Mesloh, a senior adviser to Harris since her time as district attorney of San Francisco; Michael Troncoso, who was chief counsel and chief of public policy in California Attorney General’s office; and Tony West, who was associate attorney general in the Obama administration, the third-highest position in the Department of Justice.

Sean Cockerham: 202-383-6016, @seancockerham

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