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A familiar face in state and national Democratic politics has been hired as the top aide to a freshman member of the Assembly.

Crystal Strait, 31, will be the chief of staff to Democratic Assemblyman Richard Pan, a first-time candidate who won election to a suburban Sacramento Assembly seat that has been in Republican control for decades. Pan's victory, a coup for Assembly Democrats, will likely make the seat a top target in 2012.

Strait, who worked on Democratic U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer's re-election campaign, served as president of the Young Democrats of America from August 2009 to June 2010. She has also served as president of the California Young Democrats, the California Democratic Party's official branch for young Democrats, and a political director for the party.

This won't be Strait's first time working under the dome. She was communications director for former Democratic Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, who represented the 40th Assembly District until 2008.


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