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Sun Jul 14, 2019, 06:06 PM

Campaign Warren: A report from Nevada

Las Vegas Review-Journal

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren entered the presidential fray in February, but her Nevada blitz already was underway. Nevada state director Suzy Smith began her work in January, campaign spokesman Terrence Clark said, and the local staff has grown to nearly 40 full-time staffers and about 20 paid interns.

Warren’s Nevada crew appears to be both the largest on the ground and the first to hit it. Now, the hard part: Turning that early investment into caucus goers and, eventually, delegates to the national convention.

“We’re already the biggest,” Clark said. “We want to continue with a large presence and show how important this state is to Elizabeth and the country.(snip) Nevada is the most diverse early state. To beat expectations here would be helpful for both messaging and visibility.”

(snip) Diversity among the staff and volunteers is key, Clark said. Every member of the Warren field team based in east Las Vegas, for example, is a Spanish-speaker.

Clark said the campaign did not have any difficulty finding staff with local ties. In fact, some of Warren’s top national advisers come bearing Nevada pedigrees. Her national communications director, Kristen Orthman, and speechwriter, Christopher Huntley, each spent years as Reid aides. Brendan Summers, her delegate adviser, was the executive director of the Nevada Assembly Democratic Caucus for nearly three years before orchestrating Sanders’ Iowa caucusing efforts in 2016.

In Nevada, Smith and political director Michelle Villegas each worked on state campaigns in 2018. Each of the three deputy political directors brings Nevada campaign experience, Clark said, and many of the field organizers are from Las Vegas or Reno. The focus going forward continues to be as much direct contact with people of color within their communities, Clark said.


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