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 SandersSanders denies tweet about corporate Democrats was dig at Warren Sanders denies tweet about corporate Democrats was dig at Warren Democrats asked to create ideal candidate to beat Trump pick white man: poll 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 ClintonDemocrats bristle as Hicks appears for daylong Capitol Hill testimony Democrats bristle as Hicks appears for daylong Capitol Hill testimony Trump: 'So sad' Democrats are putting Hope Hicks 'through hell' 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 invokes Ted Kennedy in defending remarks about working with segregationists Biden invokes Ted Kennedy in defending remarks about working with segregationists Booker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' 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 WhitehouseOvernight Defense: House passes T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record Overnight Defense: House passes T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record Trump's UN pick faces Senate grilling 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.