Marianne Williamson’s loss is John Delaney’s gain.

Brent Roske, who was Williamson’s state director until the beginning of last week, has joined Delaney’s campaign as their new deputy Iowa state director, Delaney’s campaign tells Starting Line.

“I enjoyed my time with the Williamson campaign, but I’m excited to join the Delaney team as I believe Mr. Delaney’s plan for health care is the most pragmatic and attainable of all the candidates. I also believe, as he does, that ‘bi-partisanship’ is something we need to seek out and cultivate,” Roske said in a statement to Starting Line.

Roske and Williamson had some unique shared history: both of them run unsuccessful congressional campaign challenges to Henry Waxman in 2014.

Paula Roby, a Cedar Rapids attorney, is the new Iowa lead for Williamson’s campaign at the moment.

“We are very excited to welcome Brent to our team. As a journalist in 2016, Brent had a bird’s eye view of the Iowa Caucuses and is well respected among journalists and activists across the state,” said Monica Biddix, Iowa State Director. “Congressman Delaney has the best and most realistic health care plan of all the candidates, and we are glad Brent is joining us to help spread that message.”

Roske’s addition to Delaney’s Iowa team adds to their sizable operation in the lead-off caucus state. While other campaigns have since outnumbered them on the field side, Delaney’s campaign has had a large presence in the state since early on in 2018. Delaney himself has made 29 separate trips to Iowa.

While Williamson enjoyed a newfound level of national attention following the first debates, her campaign has oddly seemed to fail to capitalize on it. Williamson was the most-Googled candidate following the second debate night, as well as the focus of a considerable number of national headlines. And yet, it didn’t seem to come along with a slew of national cable TV interviews that most campaigns do to capitalize on momentum.

On Sunday, Williamson’s campaign sent out a bizarre fundraising email on behalf of Mike Gravel, a former Alaska senator who is nominally a candidate for president, insomuch as he filed FEC papers. Gravel’s “candidacy” has been documented as essentially a joke run by two teenagers, and the former senator has done little other than record a few short videos.

But even were that not the case, Gravel literally said two days before Williamson’s email that he was exiting the race and was looking for somewhere to donate his leftover funds.

And despite renting an apartment to move to Iowa earlier this year, Williamson’s time in the lead-off caucus state has been on par with most other candidates.

 

by Pat Rynard
Photo by Julie Fleming
Posted 7/9/19

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