Georgia Democrats are staffing up as a pivotal 2022 election looms

President Joe Biden greets Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., left, as first lady Jill Biden and Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., watch, during a rally at Infinite Energy Center, to mark his 100th day in office, Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Duluth, Ga. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Joe Biden greets Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., left, as first lady Jill Biden and Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., watch, during a rally at Infinite Energy Center, to mark his 100th day in office, Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Duluth, Ga. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Credit: Evan Vucci

Credit: Evan Vucci

With the last supercharged election hardly in the rearview mirror, Georgia Democrats just wrapped up a hiring spree to prepare for a high-stakes 2022 campaign.

The Democratic Party of Georgia on Monday announced it hired seven new full-time positions for a slate of political and organizational posts around the state. The party now boasts the largest number of staffers it has ever had during an off-year in the election cycle, officials said.

“Georgia Democrats made history this past election cycle by investing early and heavily in organizing and outreach, and with this strong team in place, we are well-positioned to build off of those successes heading into 2022 and beyond,” said Scott Hogan, the party’s executive director.

After Democratic upset victories in November’s presidential race and January’s runoffs, the party is readying for a new campaign that will test whether the political shift in Georgia is firm or fleeting.

Fresh off a narrow special election win, U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock will stand for a full six-year term. And Stacey Abrams is expected to mount a rematch against Gov. Brian Kemp, topping a ticket of Democrats aiming to sweep GOP incumbents from statewide office.

Already, President Joe Biden has sharpened his focus on the battleground state ahead of a looming 2024 presidential race; he has visited twice since taking office, including a Thursday rally to commemorate his first 100 days in the White House.

The party’s hires include a mix of veteran operatives and younger staffer as part of a broader effort to expand year-round campaign efforts, particularly when it involves mobilizing diverse groups that powered the Democratic gains in 2020.

Among the hires:

Matt Handsfield was hired as the party’s organizer. He was the party’s organizing director during the 2020 general election and held similar posts in other Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia.

Earnest Boston Jr. was hired as the deputy organizing director. He was a regional field director for the party in 2018 and was a field director for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential race.

Stacia Yim was hired as the digital organizing director. Yim served in the same role for the party during last year’s presidential and runoff races. She also worked for Andrew Yang’s 2020 bid for president.

Dominick Perkins was hired as the party’s political director. He previously served as the Biden campaign’s political director in Georgia and was an adviser to the party during the runoffs. Before that, Perkins was a longtime aide for U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop.

Jamil Favors was hired as the deputy political director for African-American outreach. He got his start in Georgia politics volunteering during the 2018 race for governor, and later was hired as a key aide to the party’s voter education and community outreach efforts during the runoffs.

Taher Hasanali was hired as the deputy political director for the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community. He served in a similar role during the runoffs, and he also chairs the Young Democrats of Georgia’s AAPI Caucus.

Jennifer Zenteno was hired as the deputy political director for the Latinx community. She previously was a top deputy at the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, and also served as an officer for the Young Democrats of Georgia’s Latinx Caucus.

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