Governor Doug Ducey announced that C.J. Karamargin will join his office as Director of Communications. Karamargin, a former journalist, long-time professional communicator and congressional staffer, will replace outgoing Communications Director Patrick Ptak, who announced Monday that he is departing for an opportunity with the Arizona Commerce Authority. Karamargin will begin November 30.
From covering the state Capitol and Arizona politics as a reporter, to leading communications at Arizona’s second largest community college, to his bipartisan work at the federal level, Karamargin brings a wealth of experience in media relations and crisis communications.
“We couldn’t be more excited for C.J. to join our talented team in the Governor’s Office,” said Governor Ducey. “C.J. has a track record and proven ability to work with media, stakeholders and the public to communicate proactively and effectively. C.J. will pick up where Patrick left off, and we can’t wait for him to hit the ground running.”
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to join the Governor’s team,” Karamargin said. “Having spent the past 20 years working in and with Arizona media, I’m looking forward to joining the Governor’s administration and communicating his agenda of ‘opportunity for all’ to Arizonans across the state.”
Karamargin brings 15 years of experience as a journalist, covering federal, state and local politics for the Arizona Daily Star, and serving as assistant city editor and a reporter for the Tucson Citizen. Before that, he held various reporter positions in Idaho, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. Karamargin later served as Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords from 2007 through 2011, handling the office’s communications through the tragic shooting in Tucson on January 8, 2011, and serving as the congresswoman’s primary spokesman and liaison to local, state, national and international media outlets.
From 2011 through 2015, Karamargin served as Executive Director for Public Information and Media Relations for Pima Community College. There, he created and executed external and internal media, information and advertising strategies for the second largest community college in Arizona, and served as college spokesman and media counsel to the chancellor, college administrators and elected board members. In 2015, Karamargin became District Director for U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, serving as the congresswoman’s principal advisor on district issues. When McSally was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 2018, Karamargin was promoted to Deputy State Director, serving as a member of Senator McSally’s leadership team and her principal advisor on Southern Arizona issues.