Ross taps top operative as acting chief of staff
One day after she helped an ex-aide to U.S. Sen. John Kerry win the top slot in Newton City Hall, a veteran political operative is headed to Boston City Council President Michael Rossâ€™s office.
Deborah Shah will be Rossâ€™s acting chief of staff, temporarily replacing Reuben Kantor, who left in early October to work on Ayanna Pressleyâ€™s successfully City Council At-Large bid and isnâ€™t returning. Shah starts on Thursday.
"The hottest superstar in grassroots politics is going to serve as my acting chief of staff for the time being," Ross told the Reporter. "Iâ€™m honored to have her."
In Newton, Shah shepherded Setti Warrenâ€™s mayoral run, helping him beat state Rep. Ruth Balser. Warren started with low name recognition before coming in behind Balser in Septemberâ€™s preliminary election. On Tuesday, Warren finished 463 votes ahead of her.
"I attribute that to two things. One: Setti Warren is a spectacular candidate. Two: Deb Shah," Ross said.
Shah has worked as Rossâ€™s campaign manager and managed a number of state Senate races, including Sonia Chang-Diazâ€™s toppling last year of then-Sen. Dianne Wilkerson in the Second Suffolk District.
Shah has also served as regional field director for Deval Patrickâ€™s 2006 campaign and worked for Hillary Clintonâ€™s presidential campaign in Texas and Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of Barnard College and Columbia University.