Staff Bios

Capitol Office

Chief of Staff: Lance Christensen
Lance Christensen has earned a national reputation as a government budget and finance policy expert.  Prior to joining Senator Moorlach's staff, Mr. Christensen served as the Director of the Pension Reform Project for the nationally respected Reason Foundation. His budget and finance analyses have been published in multiple national and local publications, and he is a sought-after expert presenter on government finance and debt issues.  Mr. Christensen also spent nearly a decade working as a legislative consultant in the California State Senate, as well as a finance budget analyst at the Department of Finance.  Mr. Christensen earned his Bachelor’s degree in English from Brigham Young University and Masters of Public Policy degree from Pepperdine University's School of Public Policy.

Legislative Director: Catherine Bird
Catherine Bird is a graduate of Baylor Law School and is licensed by the State Bars in both the Texas and California. Ms. Bird enjoys utilizing her legal training to logically and analytically approach legislation in California, working to create a better future for our State. Ms. Bird has a wide range of legislative experience, both at the State and Federal level.  She began her legislative career working for the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington D.C.  After moving to California, she became politically active in her local community, running for County Supervisor and working as a District Representative for the local State Senator.  Ms. Bird comes to us directly from Senator Ted Gaines’ office, where she has worked on a wide range of legislative issues, including tax reform, transportation and housing, public safety, and technology.

Capitol Office Director & Latino Media Specialist: Alicia G. Belmontes:
Alicia Belmontes has nearly thirty years of experience working in the State Capitol, including as Executive Assistant for former Senate Republican Leader Rob Hurtt and former Secretary of State Bruce McPherson, among others.  Most recently, Ms. Belmontes served as a State Senate Floor Analyses Consultant where she analyzed the Governance and Finance Committee bills that were placed on the Senate third-reading file.  She also processed the third-reading amendments on the Senate Desk.  In addition to serving as Senator Moorlach’s Capitol Office Director, Ms. Belmontes will use her fluency in Spanish to oversee Senator Moorlach’s outreach to Spanish language media.

Legislative Analyst:  Robert Nash
Robert Nash has quickly become an expert in California public policy, including experience working with the Personal Insurance Federation of California, the California Fair Political Practices Commission, and State Assembly Member offices.  Mr. Nash earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his Juris Doctorate Degree and Capitol Certificate in Public Law & Policy from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law.   Mr. Nash is a member of the California State Bar, and he serves as the lead staff member for Senator Moorlach’s involvement with the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Policy Consultant: Eric Dietz
Eric Dietz has almost a decade of experience working for the California legislature. While majoring in Government at California State University, Sacramento and serving on the Board of Directors for College Republicans, Mr. Dietz discovered his passion for politics. This passion is what led him to a career in the Legislature where he has worked for four members of the California State Assembly. Mr. Dietz began his political career as a Field Representative in San Diego, but quickly realized the State Capitol is where he wanted to be. During his time in the State Capitol, Mr. Dietz has worked on a variety of issues including the state budget, elections, labor, public employment, and pensions. Mr. Dietz is also very active in the Sacramento community where he volunteers for several different organizations.

James Moore, Capitol Fellow
James Moore is a current California Senate Fellow, one of 18 Fellows selected from an applicant pool of over 600.  Mr. Moore is a recent graduate of Harvard University, where he concentrated in Government and received a Secondary Field degree in Psychology.  While there, he performed research in the Behavioral Insights Lab, a joint lab between the Harvard Psychology Department and Harvard Business School analyzing shared resource interactions within multinational companies.  Before joining the Senator Moorlach’s office as a Senate Fellow, Mr. Moore interned with the office, where he staffed committee meetings, met with constituents and interest groups, and performed research.

District Office

Deputy Chief of Staff: David Mansdoerfer
David Mansdoerfer brings to Senator Moorlach's staff deep expertise in Orange County's governance, transportation, and business policy areas.  Previously, Mr. Mansdoerfer served as Deputy Chief of Staff for then Supervisor Moorlach, where he worked on several local initiatives including Civic Openness in Negotiations (COIN) and issues related to John Wayne Airport.  Mr. Mansdoerfer has also worked for Las Vegas based Citizen Outreach, D.C. based Lexington Institute, and the U.S. House of Representatives Republican Policy Committee.  Mr. Mansdoerfer earned his Business Administration degree from Vanguard University and Masters of Public Policy from the Pepperdine School of Public Policy.

District Director:  Scott Carpenter
Scott Carpenter has been active in Orange County's public policy arena for over fifteen years.  Widely considered an expert on business and economic development, Mr. Carpenter has put his stamp on policymakers’ efforts to streamline the County's regulatory structure and help small businesses grow.  Prior to joining Senator Moorlach’s staff, Mr. Carpenter served as Policy Advisor for Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson.  He is also an elected leader in several local and statewide political volunteer organizations.  Mr. Carpenter earned his Political Science and History Degrees from Concordia University, Irvine.

Communications Director: Amanda Smith
Amanda Smith is considered one of the California State Senate’s foremost communications experts and has an extensive background in public relations and communications, including in both the Washington D.C and California media markets.  Her previous experience includes serving as a communications specialist in the academic, nonprofit and private sectors.  Ms. Smith is an expert in social media communications, as well as with print and broadcast media platforms.  Ms. Smith graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Master of Arts Degree in Media Communication from Liberty University.

Communications Associate:  Jacob Ashendorf
Jacob Ashendorf is an up-and-coming talent among California's public policy community.  A recent graduate of UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Mr. Ashendorf has been active nationally with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee where he worked to build advocacy and grass roots support within the pro-Israel community.  Mr. Ashendorf was also active with the Junior Statesmen of America, the Center for Jewish Studies at UCLA, and is an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.

Executive Assistant & District Representative:  Aly John
Before joining Senator Moorlach's staff, Aly John served as a policy analyst in former Congressman John Campbell's office, spending time in both Orange County and Washington D.C.   Ms. John is widely considered a policy expert in governance, finance, and veterans’ issues, among others.  She has also been an active community volunteer.  Ms. John received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science with and emphasis in Political Science from Azusa Pacific University.