2020 Campaigns Build Out Their Iowa Teams

As presidential candidates fan out across Iowa to woo caucus-goers, their campaigns are staffing up to build the organizing infrastructure to bring home a win on caucus night.

Here’s a quick roundup of some of the most recent top staff hires for the Iowa campaigns. You can see Starting Line’s full tracking list of all the campaign organizations here.

John Hickenlooper

The former Colorado governor has brought on Des Moines activist Kimberley Strope-Boggus as their state political director. She’s been heavily involved in nearly every major Democratic event and campaign in the Polk County area for several cycles now. Strope-Boggus has extensive connections with top activists in the state’s largest county, and should be able to pull in some good Democratic leaders to Hickenlooper’s operation.

Strope-Boggus’ hiring is also noteworthy as it shows campaigns are starting to pull from the engaged activist pool in Iowa, as opposed to only long-time campaign operatives. Given the very large field, there’s only so many of those people to go around. This brings Hickenlooper’s Iowa team up to three. They already have Sam Roecker and Ferguson Yacyshyn, the Iowa Democratic Party’s former field director, on board.

Kamala Harris

Erin Phillips joined Harris’ Iowa Caucus campaign this week as their organizing director. It’s a return to Iowa for Phillips, who organized Floyd and Chickasaw counties in Northern Iowa for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 caucus campaign. Most recently, she ran the statewide organizing program for the Pennsylvania Coordinated Campaign in 2018.

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Bernie Sanders

Sanders continues to fill out the top leadership for his second Iowa Caucus run. Roger Ouellette will serve as the state communications director – he did the same for Cathy Glasson in last year’s gubernatorial primary. Joe Fahey comes over from the Iowa Democratic Party to be Sanders’ Iowa scheduler and operations coordinator.

They are also starting to build out their Iowa field operation, one that will likely end up as the largest in the Democratic field. Kevin Lata and Brooke Adams join the team as deputy field directors – both were Sanders field organizers in 2016. Alex Liao, who previously worked for Stacey Abrams and Cynthia Nixon, has been hired as a regional field director.

Cory Booker

The senator’s campaign brought on their first wave of Iowa field organizers this past week, adding to what was already a sizable early state operation for Booker. The Booker team also opened their Iowa headquarters in Urbandale as their candidate did his hometown kick-off back in Newark.

Booker joined his new team for a fun evening during his trip to Iowa this week, playing some ping pong and cornhole with the new members at Des Moines’ Ricochet.

Elizabeth Warren

The Warren Iowa team is getting even bigger. They’re continuing to build out their extensive political shop, adding Tova Yampolsky as their deputy political director and Trent Seubert and Jon Jarmon as regional political directors. Warren has by far the largest caucus operation in Iowa so far, with about 50 staff in the state.

Amy Klobuchar

Iowa’s Minnesota neighbor is establishing a larger footprint in the caucus state, bringing on three new top staff today. Jamie Woods, who is the chair of the Iowa Democratic Party’s Black Caucus, joins Klobuchar’s campaign as the political director for Iowa. Andrew Larabee will be the deputy organizing director for Klobuchar – he’s run field programs for issue groups and Democratic campaigns across the Midwest. They are also adding Alli Peters, who worked on Dean Phillips’ Minnesota congressional campaign, as their Iowa digital media manager.


by Pat Rynard
Posted 4/19/19

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