The Biden campaign is expanding its staff in Texas with 13 new hires as polls indicate the Lone Star state is in play just weeks before Election Day.
The new hires, announced on Monday, include alumni of the Obama administration, Texas state legislature and Texas congressional delegation.
Dallas Jones, a political consultant and commentator, will serve as political director, while Jackie Uresti, the 2016 Texas state director for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCrowd aims ‘lock him up’ chant at Obama during Trump rally Author Cooper Lawrence discusses pros and cons of celebrity endorsements Trump campaign aide envisions ‘similar scenario’ as in 2016 MORE’s campaign, and Jerry Phillips, the former executive director of the House Democratic Campaign Committee, will join as political advisers.
Bethanie Olivan, who worked on the 2020 presidential campaign for former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, will serve as a digital organizing director. Terry Bermea, ex-deputy state director for former presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg, will join the Biden campaign as an organizing director.
The campaign said David Gins will be state operations director and Victoria Godinez will be a communications associate. The other new hires include six deputy coalitions directors: Dominique Calhoun, Terri Ervin, Karim Farishta, Joseph Ramirez, Deidre Rasheed and Lola Wilson.
The staff expansion, first reported by The Texas Tribune, comes amid a debate among Democrats about whether presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenCrowd aims ‘lock him up’ chant at Obama during Trump rally Biden campaign plans to run ad during every NFL game until Election Day LA mayor condemns protesters shouting ‘death to police’ outside hospital treating ambushed officers MORE should seek electoral gains in states like Texas or focus almost exclusively on traditional battleground states like Pennsylvania.
Polls have indicated a tight race between Biden and President TrumpDonald John TrumpCrowd aims ‘lock him up’ chant at Obama during Trump rally Nevada governor: Trump ‘taking reckless and selfish actions’ in holding rally Michigan lieutenant governor blasts Trump coronavirus response: He ‘is a liar who has killed people’ MORE in Texas, where a Democratic presidential candidate hasn’t won since former President Carter in 1976.
A poll released earlier this month by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas found the Biden and Trump neck-and-neck in the state, with Trump holding a slim 2 percentage point lead among likely voters. A similar survey released in early July found Biden leading Trump by 5 points among likely voters.
The Biden campaign announced its first Texas hires for the general election at the beginning of August.