Former Vice President Joe Biden's presidential campaign has tapped several veterans of state and national campaigns for his team in Minnesota, hoping to unite and turn out the Democratic base in the November election and maintain the state's long streak of voting blue in presidential elections.
Corey Day, who spent eight years as executive director of the Minnesota DFL Party, will lead Biden's Minnesota team as a senior adviser. He played a similar role in the March 3 Democratic presidential primary in the state.
Day has worked on field operations for the Democratic presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Kerry.
Day also is a prominent Black political organizer in Minnesota, representing a key constituency that helped Biden clear the Democratic field in the primaries and that will be critical to his success across the nation in November.
The new state leadership team was announced Monday, part of an ongoing rollout of campaign organizers in key battleground states, including Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, which played a critical role in President Donald Trump's surprise 2016 victory.
Biden won Minnesota's presidential primary with more than 38% of the vote, which he credited to Minnesota U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar's endorsement after she dropped out just before the election. But looking ahead to November, he'll need to unite supporters of former candidates such as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who took second and third place in Minnesota's Democratic primary.
He'll also need to build a formidable statewide operation from scratch to take on Trump, who narrowly lost Minnesota to Clinton four years ago and is already targeting the state as a pickup in 2020.
The Trump campaign has started to build up a cadre of volunteers in a state that hasn't voted for a Republican for president since Richard Nixon in 1972.
Republicans have criticized Biden for keeping a low personal profile since all but securing the Democratic nomination this spring. With four months left before the election, Biden has yet to mount a significant ground operation in Minnesota.
But Biden's campaign staff said their new hires will lead them to victory in the state, one that political handicappers say Democrats can no longer take for granted.
"The heart of progressive, grassroots politics beats in Minnesota, where voters are fiercely independent and where winning takes the grit and determination of a battle-tested team," said Biden's national states director, Jenn Ridder. "With veteran campaign staff at the helm, Biden for President will win the North Star State on Election Day."
The campaign also has hired Ryan Doyle as Minnesota state director, coming from Warren's presidential primary campaign. Doyle was the 2018 campaign manager for Keith Ellison's successful race for attorney general.
Misha Battiste will serve as Biden's coalitions director in Minnesota. She worked as a national staffer on Warren's presidential campaign, and she also served as deputy political director for Minnesota U.S. Sen. Tina Smith's 2018 campaign. In 2016, she worked on Clinton's presidential bid.