Michael Bennet, the Colorado senator and Democratic presidential candidate, now has a group of Polk County residents dedicated to spreading his message in the key Iowa county.
The Polk County steering committee will “offer strategic guidance and lead outreach and organizing efforts” in the area as the Bennet campaign works to expand its presence in Iowa’s largest county.
Robert Bibens, Kimberly and Craig Shadur, and Mary and Jim Bernard, of Des Moines; Brandi Helms, of Ankeny; and Tim Huckaby, of Urbandale, comprise the steering committee. Bibens will serve as Bennet for America Polk County Chair, according to the campaign.
They’re now part of a ground game that Bennet has somewhat quietly built up in the state while other leading candidates tout their ever-expanding field staffs.
Bennet now has 24 staffers in all in Iowa, putting him far behind the frontrunners, but giving him enough of a presence to establish a foothold in the lead-off caucus state.
“I’m joining team Bennet because I value the diversity of Michael’s experience — from the private sector, to his career in public service with the City of Denver and in the United States Senate,” said Bibens, in a statement. “His efforts to develop meaningful relationships across the aisle, along with his deep understanding of our national security threats, serve as a genuine testament to the bipartisan leadership we need now more than ever.”
The Bennet campaign intends to roll out additional regional steering committees in the state.
“Our path to victory runs right through Polk County, and these local leaders will further enable us to reach every corner of this community as Iowans begin to consider their choices,” said Brian Peters, Bennet’s Iowa State Director, in a statement.
“Michael’s going to win this caucus the same way he won tough races in Colorado: by building a broad coalition of Iowans and people across the country who share his vision to build opportunity and fix our broken politics.”
In a recent interview with Starting Line, Bennet was optimistic he still had a chance to do well in Iowa, despite his low poll numbers. He has been running a steady rotation of TV ads in the state for several weeks, one of the few candidates on air right now.
“What I really believe is that there will be three or four people coming out of Iowa, and at least two of those people are people that are probably trading between 0 and 3 [percent support] right now,” said Bennet. “So, it seemed like an efficient place for us to put our resources.”
By Elizabeth Meyer