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McCain state campaign taps veteran Tom Steward as communications director

Veteran political spokesman and former local television reporter Tom Steward will be the communications director for Sen. John McCain in Minnesota.

On Tuesday, we’d reported that Nick Kimball will be Sen. Barack Obama’s local communication director. Nick is my nephew. Tom isn’t a relative but has been a friend and colleague for years, dating back to his days as a television reporter at WCCO-TV. We covered some developments in the Congdon murders case together. Tom is currently communications director for Sen. Norm Coleman.

Steward said today he’s very excited about the challenges over the next few months. “Fortunately for me, Sen. McCain is all about straight talking, and for my job, that’s the ideal situation,” he said.

He expects Minnesota to be a major battleground for the two camps, he said, particularly with the additional elements of the Republican National Convention here in September, Coleman’s re-eelection bid and Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s high standing with McCain.

The statement from the local McCain office:

“As a veteran journalist and communications strategist, Tom Steward brings a wealth of experience and credibility to our campaign. Tom’s addition to our team reinforces the fact that Minnesota is a battleground state and that our campaign is committed to familiarizing voters here with John McCain’s strong record of courageous and bipartisan leadership.”

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