The presidential campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden has made its first Minnesota hire.
Corey Day, a former executive director of the DFL Party, will serve as Biden’s senior adviser in Minnesota. The state’s presidential primary is March 3, one of 14 participating in the “Super Tuesday” contest.
“For me, I stepped back and looked at this in the context of, how can we beat Donald Trump?” Day said Sunday. “If I didn’t think that Joe Biden was the best one to win this whole thing, then I wouldn’t be working for him.”
Day, who starts Monday, was the DFL’s top staffer for nearly eight years through the end of 2018. Since leaving that job he has worked as a political consultant. He previously worked for the presidential campaigns of John Kerry, President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Day’s decision to work for Biden puts him on a small list of prominent DFLers not backing the presidential bid of Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. He’s also one of several prominent black DFLers to bypass Klobuchar: Attorney General Keith Ellison and U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders, while state Rep. Rena Moran of St. Paul is also backing Biden. Klobuchar recently secured the endorsement of St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter.
“I think Senator Klobuchar has done an awesome job, I believe in her vision and her work,” Day said. “This is not a commentary on Senator Klobuchar at all. It’s a commentary on Vice President Biden and the coalitions he’s built over the years.”
While Klobuchar would be expected to do well in Minnesota’s March 3 primary, much will depend on the outcome of two primaries and two caucuses that come in the month leading up to Super Tuesday. Klobuchar has focused much of her energy on Iowa and to a lesser extent New Hampshire, while Biden has been mounting a national campaign with a greater focus on posting a strong Super Tuesday.
Day said Klobuchar’s presence in the race would make the Minnesota primary more of an “uphill climb,” but he said he’d work to build support for Biden in all eight of the state’s congressional districts. He said he’ll reach out to labor households, African-American and Latino communities and other groups among which Biden has shown appeal.
In addition to Klobuchar, whose campaign is headquartered in Minneapolis, both Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren have hired Minnesota organizers. Sanders and Warren campaigned in Minnesota last year, and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg held several fundraisers here. Biden has yet to visit Minnesota as a presidential candidate.