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GOP veteran Kyle Downey named Republican National Convention press secretary

Veteran GOP operative and strategist Kyle Downey has been named press secretary for the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

"Kyle Downey is one of our party's most effective and respected voices," Committee on Arrangements chief executive officer William Harris said in a statement announcing the appointment Wednesday. "We couldn't have found a better, more qualified communications professional to support the convention and our nominee, Mitt Romney."

Downey will step down as communications director for the Senate Republican Conference, where he is responsible for directing overall communications strategy and developing day-to-day messaging tactics for all 47 Republican senators.

Previously, he served as communications director for the Senate Republican Policy Committee. The conference and the policy committee were each chaired by Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota, on whose staff Downey served as communications director. Prior to joining Thune's staff, Downey was communications director for Rep. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and press secretary to the House Budget Committee and the House Republican Conference.

A Wisconsin native, Downey began his political career in Florida as a volunteer in the 2000 Bush-Gore ballot recount, later helping to organize press events in the Tampa Bay area for then-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's 2002 re-election campaign.

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