Ro Khanna hires big campaign names for rematch with Rep. Mike Honda

Ro Khanna adds big names to his campaign staff for second run against Rep. Mike Honda

Former Obama administration official Ro Khanna has hired a team of prominent campaign operatives for his rematch next year with U.S. Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose).

Democratic consultant Joe Trippi, who helped steer Gov. Jerry Brown back to the state's top elected post in 2010, has been hired as lead consultant, the Khanna campaign announced Wednesday. Los Angeles-based consultant John Shallman will oversee direct mail efforts and serve as senior advisor.

Khanna has hired Paul Maslin of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz and Associates to do polling and also has brought back Brian Parvizshahi as acting campaign manager and Steve Spinner as campaign chairman.

Khanna, 38, who narrowly lost to Honda last year in a costly, often bitter contest between fellow Democrats, announced last week that he would again run for the Bay Area congressional seat.

Fueled in large part by wealthy Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, Khanna spent some $4.4 million to Honda's $3.4 million in last year's race.

Khanna, a Yale Law School graduate who served as deputy assistant secretary of Commerce under Obama, promised voters fresh ideas that he said they could not get from Honda, 73. 

Honda, who is serving his second term in Congress, said through a campaign spokesman last week that he welcomed another bout with Khanna. Honda won the 2014 election with 51.8% of the vote, to Khanna's 48.2%.

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