Joe Hill, a onetime Clinton operative and advisor for Cozen O'Connor Public Strategies, will take over as Gov. Tom Wolf’s new political director and deputy campaign manager.
The Georgetown-educated Hill got his start at Teach for America in Wilmington, Delaware. He has worked under U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and served as Hillary for America’s deputy political director in Southeastern PA during the 2016 Presidential election.
Hill joined the prominent Philadelphia law firm’s government affairs division in February, acting as an advisor for nonprofits and corporations in their dealings with City Hall.
“(Wolf) hasn’t had (a political director) since that campaign restarted,” said Beth Melena, a spokesperson for the PA Democratic Party. “Joe has a really diverse experience overall. He’s a former public school teacher and is Philly-born and raised. He’s been deeply involved in civic activities and civic spaces across Pennsylvania for over a decade.”
With the governor’s approval rating hovering around 48 percent and Republicans like Scott Wagner hoping to ride the Trump 2016 wave in next year’s election, Hill will lead the Wolf campaign’s efforts to build a coalition of supporters and donors to strengthen the incumbent in what promises to be a tough reelection battle.
“Governor Wolf is fighting for Pennsylvanians in Harrisburg every day to ensure that our working families have the resources they need,” Hill wrote, in an email. “I am honored to be able to join Governor Wolf’s team to ensure he has a second term so he can continue moving Pennsylvania forward.”
Greg Manz, spokesperson for the state GOP, responded to news of Hill's hire by focusing on what his party views as the governor's failures. "The recent Susquehanna/ABC27 poll reaffirmed what we have been saying for months – the majority of Pennsylvanians have lost faith in Tom Wolf's ability to lead our Commonwealth effectively and want real leadership returned to the governor's mansion," he wrote in an email. "Unfortunately for the Wolf campaign, the hiring of a new political operative won't change the fact that Tom Wolf is America's most liberal governor and has been AWOL for months during budget negotiations resulting in Pennsylvania's credit downgrade by Standard & Poor's under his watch."
This post has been updated to reflect the response of the state GOP to the hiring of Joe Hill.