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Tom Steyer hires a Texas state director

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Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer speaks during a fundraising dinner in Clear Lake, Iowa in December of 2019. John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/REUTERS

Tom Steyer has hired a Texas state director, the latest remaining Democratic presidential hopeful to make such a move as candidates seek to ramp up their campaigns ahead of a Texas primary that’s becoming increasingly contested.

In an email Thursday afternoon, Steyer’s campaign announced that Omar El-Halwagi will lead its efforts in the state, which holds its primary on Super Tuesday, March 3. According to his LinkedIn profile, El-Halwagi is a former associate at Norton Rose Fulbright, an international law firm.

El-Halwagi graduated from Texas A&M University and is based in Houston, according to Steyer’s campaign.

“We’re ready to mobilize voters, show up strong on Super Tuesday, and move our state — and the nation — one step closer to meaningful climate action, environmental justice, and direct democracy,” Omar El-Halwagi said in an email.

Steyer is the fourth remaining candidate to announce a Texas state director, following Michael Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden. Beto O’Rourke, the former El Paso congressman, had one before he dropped out of the race in early November.

Steyer, one of two billionaires seeking the Democratic nomination, is one of the less frequent visitors to the state. He’s also not registering much support in Texas primary polls. The most recent University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll from early November had him at 1%.

Disclosure: Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.