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.
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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