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Murphy’s new Comella is de Blasio, Clinton alum

By David Wildstein

To run his communications operation, Gov.-elect Phil Murphy has stolen away a top aide to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Mahen Gunaratna, Murphy’s pick for Director of Communications, served as de Blasio’s Deputy Communications Director in 2017.  He also worked as de Blasio’s research director on his 2013 mayoral campaign.

Gunaratna was the de Blasio staffer who had his cell phone swiped on a subway in Manhattan.  He chased the suspects Rodney Frelinghuysen-style.

In 2016, he was the Communications Director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in Florida.  He also worked as a Clinton press secretary in Florida and Connecticut during the primary campaign. Gunaratna was the New Mexico and Arizona Communications Director for Obama for America in 2012.

Gunaratna was the press secretary to Rep. Kendrick Meek, and was research director for Meek’s 2010 U.S. Senate campaign against Marco Rubio.  He also worked as press secretary for Rep. Frederica Wilson, the Miami Democrat who gained national fame last year when she was attacked by President Trump.

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