Biden hires top aides for Pennsylvania

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Former Vice President Joe Biden has added two top Democratic aides to head his campaign operations in Pennsylvania, a critical swing state in November’s general election.

First reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Biden campaign confirmed to The Hill that Brendan McPhillips has been hired as Pennsylvania state director and Sinceré Harris will be a senior adviser in the state’s operations.

Both McPhillips and Harris are seasoned political operatives with a “combined decades of experience in high-profile local, statewide, and national progressive campaigns,” according to the Biden campaign.

McPhillips most recently was the Iowa state director for Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign, helping the former South Bend, Ind., mayor win the first-in-the-nation primary in February. 

Harris has been serving as executive director for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. Over her years there, Democrats in the state picked up five congressional seats and Sen. Bob Casey (D) and Gov. Tom Wolf (D) both won reelection, the Biden campaign noted.

In 2016, Pennsylvania was one of the states that had voted for former President Obama twice, but was successfully flipped by then-candidate Donald Trump on his way to winning the White House. President Trump did so by a razor-thin margin of a little more than 44,000 votes — a margin of less than 1 percent.

With 20 electoral votes, the Keystone State is crucial for Biden if he wants to unseat the president in November.

A CNBC/Change Research poll at the end of June showed Biden with a 6-point lead over Trump, 50 percent to 44 percent. 

The hirings are the latest by the Biden campaign in a key battleground state, as it has also expanded its operations in Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, North Carolina and Nevada in recent weeks.  

Tags 2020 general election Barack Obama battleground state Bob Casey Donald Trump Joe Biden Pennsylvania Pete Buttigieg U.S.

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