Biden campaign staffs up in Georgia

Biden campaign staffs up in Georgia
© Getty Images

Joe BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE’s campaign has added five senior staff members in Georgia, a sign the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee intends to contest the traditionally red state that Democrats believe is up for grabs in November.

The Biden campaign announced Tuesday it has hired Tracey Lewis as state director in Georgia. Lewis, the managing director at a woman- and Black-owned political consulting firm in the Peach State, was a senior adviser to Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenFederal Reserve officials' stock trading sparks ethics review Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants Warren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack MORE’s (D-Mass.) presidential campaign.

Former Georgia state Rep. Simone Bell (D) and Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson, who has advised top Georgia Democrats like Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the late Rep. John LewisJohn LewisHarris, CBC put weight behind activist-led National Black Voter Day Budowsky: High stakes drama for Biden, Manchin, Sinema Stacey Abrams backs Senate Democrats' voting rights compromise MORE, will be senior advisers to the Biden campaign.

ADVERTISEMENT

Reese McRanie, a former strategist for Bottoms and a fundraiser for former President Obama’s 2012 campaign, will take on the role of deputy state director. Dominick Perkins, a longtime aide to Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. (D-Ga.), was named state political director.

The hiring comes as Democrats are increasingly bullish about their chances of turning Georgia blue in the presidential election for the first time since 1992.

President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE carried the state by more than 5 percentage points in 2016, but several recent polls have found a close contest.

A Fox News survey released last month found Biden ahead by 2 points, while a more recent poll by the conservative media outlet One America News found Trump ahead by 3 points.

In a phone call with reporters last week, new Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien taunted the Biden campaign, urging them to spend as much money as possible in Georgia. Stepien said the Trump campaign has more than 100 staffers on the ground in a state he said is safely Republican.

ADVERTISEMENT

In addition to the presidential race, there are two competitive Senate races in Georgia this year, making it a key state in the battle for control of the upper chamber.

Democrat Jon Ossoff released an internal poll last week showing him in a dead heat with Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.). The Perdue campaign became embroiled in controversy this week after it removed an ad with an image of Ossoff that appeared to lengthen his nose. Ossoff is Jewish.

Republicans are in a bitter fight of their own in the primary for Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerWarnock picks up major abortion rights group's endorsement in reelection bid Trump endorses Hershel Walker for Georgia Senate seat Herschel Walker's entrance shakes up Georgia Senate race MORE’s seat. Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsLoeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run Georgia agriculture commissioner launches Senate campaign against Warnock Poll shows tight GOP primary for Georgia governor MORE (R-Ga.) leads Loeffler in some polls to finish out retired Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonCritical race theory becomes focus of midterms Former Georgia ethics official to challenge McBath Loeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run MORE’s (R-Ga.) term. Democrats Matt Lieberman and Raphael Warnock are also in the running.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report recently moved both Georgia Senate races from "likely" Republican to "lean" Republican.