Angle campaign fills out communications team

Sharron Angle's U.S. Senate campaign has filled out its communications team after weeks of struggling to keep the Republican on message in her tough race against Sen. Harry Reid.

The campaign today named Jordan Gehrke as communications director and Ciara Matthews as deputy communications director.

Gehrke, a GOP strategist, has experience with national campaigns, including in Massachusetts where outsider Republican Scott Brown won a Senate seat.

Matthews is moving over to the Angle campaign from the Nevada Republican Party where she's been handling media. She also worked on Bob Beers GOP gubernatorial campaign in 2006.

Angle spokeman Jerry Stacey, who will continue in that role, said Matthews will "prove to be a huge asset to our campaign."

Matthews has accompanied Angle on her last few appearances in Las Vegas where her campaign limited questions, prompting critics to say Angle is hiding from the press.

In the next three months, Angle will focus her message on Reid and the state's record unemployment, home foreclosure and bankruptcy rates, Matthews said.

At the same time, Angle will begin to hold more free-wheeling sessions with the media, according to Matthews.

"As the campaign continues to unfold, she will definitely be speaking with the press more frequently," Matthews said. "Some events will be focused on one issue and other events she'll be available to take a variety of questions."

The national Republican Party has been worried Angle hasn't been aggressive enough in responding to Reid campaign attacks, calling her too extreme for Nevada.

As a result, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has hired Brian Jones, a long-time GOP operative, to advise Angle's campaign as well as the GOP candidates in California and Washington state. Jones will remain based in Sacramento, which isn't far from Angle's Reno campaign headquarters.