Sanders announces first staff hires in Iowa, New Hampshire

Sanders announces first staff hires in Iowa, New Hampshire
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Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHow can top Democrats run the economy with no business skill? Biden rallies with John Kerry in early primary states Buttigieg campaign says 2000 people attended Iowa rally MORE (I-Vt.), seen as one of the front-runners among the Democratic field of White House contenders, announced his campaign’s first staff hires in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The Vermont progressive’s camp is taking on a slew of political and advocacy veterans with deep ties to the Hawkeye and Granite states, which will kick off the 2020 presidential contest.

Sanders lost Iowa to eventual Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWill the Horowitz report split the baby? Gabbard commemorates John Lennon's passing by singing 'Imagine' Bannon: Clinton waiting to enter 2020 race and 'save the Democratic Party from Michael Bloomberg' MORE by about a quarter of a percentage point in 2016, but handily defeated her in New Hampshire.

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“Iowa and New Hampshire helped launch the political revolution in 2016 and now, with the help of our incredible organizers and political leaders in the first two primary and caucus states, we will finish that revolution and fundamentally transform this country,” campaign manager Faiz Shakir said in a statement. 

Sanders tapped Misty Rebik, a Democratic operative also involved in advocacy work, as his Iowa state director.

Rebik served as the campaign manager for Cathy Glasson’s (D) failed 2018 gubernatorial bid and comes to the campaign from One Iowa, where she led LGBTQ advocacy work. She also helped start the first-ever transgender care program with Planned Parenthood in Iowa.

Jess Mazour will join the campaign as well after working with the farm and environment team at Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement for more than six years.

Sanders also hired Pete D'Alessandro as a senior adviser on Iowa. D'Alessandro worked on several political campaigns in Iowa and other states, including Sanders’s 2016 presidential bid.

Sanders placed just behind former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden: Buttigieg 'doesn't have significant black support even in his own city' Biden: 'I'd add' Warren to my list of potential VP picks How can top Democrats run the economy with no business skill? MORE in a recent poll of likely Iowa caucusgoers. Biden is expected to announce his own presidential campaign in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, in New Hampshire, Sanders hired Joe Caiazzo as his state director. Caiazzo managed Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseTrump brings pardoned soldiers on stage at Florida fundraiser: report Overnight Energy: Pelosi vows bold action to counter 'existential' climate threat | Trump jokes new light bulbs don't make him look as good | 'Forever chemicals' measure pulled from defense bill Pelosi warns of 'existential' climate threat, vows bold action MORE’s (D-R.I.) successful reelection campaign in 2018 and served as Sanders’s political director in Massachusetts and Rhode Island in 2016. 

Sanders also tapped Carli Stevenson, a New Hampshire native, as his deputy state director and communications director.

Stevenson served as Sanders’s New Hampshire deputy communications director in 2016 and currently works for the online advocacy group Demand Progress.

Kurt Ehrenberg, Sanders’s 2016 New Hampshire political director, rejoins the campaign as a senior adviser, the statement also said.