Warren assembles small campaign team in Vermont

Elizabeth Warren looks pleased
Elizabeth Warren is greeted with a three-minute ovation at the New Hampshire Democratic Convention on Sept. 7 in Manchester. Photo by Kit Norton/VTDigger

Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 campaign is setting up a two-person team in Vermont. 

The campaign recently hired Teddy Waszazak, a Barre city councilor, who ran Democratic gubernatorial primary candidate Brenda Siegel’s unsuccessful campaign in 2018, as the regional organizing director. Campaign staffer Jeremiah Thompson is state director for Warren. 

Warren’s team is the only Democratic 2020 presidential candidate besides Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to invest resources in the state.

Teddy Waszazak
Teddy Waszazak, of Rights & Democracy and the Raise Up Vermont campaign, testifies on the Senate minimum wage bill in April 2018. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger

Waszazak, who said he would begin work for the campaign on Nov. 21, referred comment to Thompson. 

In a statement, Thompson said the Warren campaign is organizing in all of the primary states. 

“She has already visited 28 states and our senior staff has had hundreds of conversations with activists and grassroots supporters in all Super Tuesday states,”  he wrote in an email. 

“Every single day we organize across the country, and we will have an organized presence in every state and territory that holds a nominating contest – including Vermont.”

Sanders, who is extremely popular in his home state, won 86% of the presidential primary vote against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

A source in the Democratic Party with knowledge of the Warren campaign’s efforts said her camp believes she will pick up delegates in Vermont.

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“They want to be gentle enough coming here, and I think what they see is they can be a bridge between the Bernie and Biden voters,” the source said.

In 2016, candidate Hillary Clinton launched a small campaign operation in Vermont in an attempt to win 15% of the vote — the minimum needed to earn a delegate. 

However, Clinton never visited the state and ended up winning only 13.6%.

“If Hillary had had any presence here she would have gotten a delegate or two, but they missed it by one (percent) because they just came in the last two weeks here,” the source said. 

For months, Warren and Sanders have been competing closely in polls across the country, but in many, she has been edging out the Vermont senator. 

The latest Monmouth University poll in Iowa found Warren at 18% and Sanders at 13% behind South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 22% and former Vice President Joe Biden at 19%. 

Quinnipiac’s latest New Hampshire poll found Warren at 16% and Sanders at 14%, with Buttigieg at 15% and Biden in the lead at 20%. 

In July, fellow 2020 candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., had been considering setting up a campaign operation in Vermont. But while she has sent staffers to Vermont, she has not invested permanent resources in the state. 

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Xander Landen

About Xander

Xander Landen is VTDigger's political reporter. He previously worked at the Keene Sentinel covering crime, courts and local government. Xander got his start in public radio, writing and producing stories for NPR affiliates including WBUR in Boston and WNYC in New York. While at WNYC, he contributed to an award-winning investigation of how police departments shield misconduct records from the public. He is a graduate of Tufts University and his work has also appeared in PBS NewsHour and The Christian Science Monitor.

Email: [email protected]

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Tom Koch

How can Warren be “a bridge between the Bernie and Biden voters” when she is to the left even of Sanders?

John Shaplin

Remember that both Leahy, Welsh endorsed Hillary, going against the prevailing sentiment in their own party by a ‘huge’ margin? Then Bernie, after he lost the primary, endorsed Hillary even going so far as to confirm her view of ‘the deplorables’ and therefore sacrificing significant future support for the sake of the Party? A now both Warren and Bernie are pushing ‘wealth taxes,’ a measure that even a confirmed Marxist like Yanis Varafoukis will not invoke in his campaign for reform in the EU because it is likely to destroy more capital than it can possibly create. Populist demagoguery is no substitute for clear thinking.

” When the houses of the great collapse

Many little ones are slain.

Those who had no shape in the fortunes of the mighty

Often share in their misfortunes.

The plunging wagons drag

The sweating oxen with it

Into the abyss”. -Bertolt Brecht


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