Warren hires senior staffers in Georgia to boost her 2020 bid

11/21/2019 -- Atlanta, Georgia -- U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks during her campaign stop at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Thursday, November 21, 2019. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal Constitution)
11/21/2019 -- Atlanta, Georgia -- U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks during her campaign stop at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Thursday, November 21, 2019. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren became the first Democratic presidential hopeful with a significant paid campaign operation in Georgia with the hire of several operatives to run her 2020 bid in the state.

The Massachusetts Democrat’s new hires will initially focus on metro Atlanta and Columbus, the campaign said, though it plans to open offices or place staffers in Savannah, Augusta and Athens ahead of Georgia’s March 24 primary.

While 2020 hopefuls have logged dozens of visits to Georgia and raised millions of dollars in cash from state donors, Warren is the first to build an extensive campaign infrastructure in the state.

The team will be led by Anthony Davis Jr., who worked for U.S. Sen. Doug Jones’ 2017 campaign in Alabama and Bobby Kaple’s 6th District run in 2018.

Davis said Monday the hires are an “investment in meeting people where they are and building a grassroots movement to level the playing field for everyone.”

The campaign tapped Edima Ufot, a veteran of the New Georgia Project voter registration initiative, as its community organizing director.

And it hired two veterans of Stacey Abrams’ run for governor for key roles: Jasmine Talley will oversee Warren’s outreach efforts in north Georgia, and Bev Jackson will coordinate Warren’s push to reach churches.

Jason Wheeler, who has worked for years as a union organizer, will helm the campaign’s south Georgia outreach network. And Terrence Clark will be Warren’s Georgia spokesman.

Warren has much work ahead in the state, which Democrats hope to flip in a presidential contest for the first time since 1992.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has captured the bulk of the endorsements so far and has a bigger advantage in Georgia over President Donald Trump than Warren in the latest Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll.

She's drawn large crowds at her visits to metro Atlanta, including a town hall in Lawrenceville and a speech at Clark Atlanta University courting African-American voters who form the backbone of the Democratic electorate in the state.

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