Adding to the team in Texas



Joe Biden’s campaign is expanding its staff in Texas, bringing on 13 more people as the state continues to look competitive with just over seven weeks to go before the November election.

The Democratic nominee’s latest hires, shared first with The Texas Tribune, include several experienced Democratic operatives from the state. They include Dallas Jones, a Houston political consultant who will serve as Biden’s Texas political director, and Jackie Uresti and Jerry Phillips, who will each serve as political advisers to the campaign in Texas. Uresti was Hillary Clinton’s 2016 state director, while Phillips brings deep experience around Texas House politics and previously was executive director of the House Democratic Campaign Committee.

Biden’s campaign has also named Bethanie Olivan as digital organizing director and Terry Bermea as organizing director. Olivan recently held similar roles for the state party and Julián Castro’s presidential campaign, while Bermea is the former organizing director for Battleground Texas and was deputy state director for Michael Bloomberg’s White House bid earlier this year.

The campaign also said David Gins will serve as state operations director. Gins is a former U.S. Senate staffer who has since worked for the LGBTQ Victory Fund and the data science company Civis Analytics.

The campaign announced that Victoria Godinez, a former staffer to state Rep. Diego Bernal of San Antonio, is being hired as communications associate.

Rounding out the hires are six deputy coalitions directors, most with varying levels of Texas political experience: Deidre Rasheed, Karim Farishta, Dominique Calhoun, Teri Ervin, Lola Wilson and Joseph Ramirez.

That’s 19 paid staffers, and while I don’t know offhand how much Team Biden is spending in Texas, I do know that there’s plenty of national money coming in for Congress and the Lege. There’s a lot more happening here now than we’re used to seeing.

For what it’s worth, Trump has a 1.1 point polling lead in Texas, according to FiveThirtyEight. That site projects Trump to carry the state by 3.6 points. The Economist projects a 3.2 point win for Trump. In 2018, FiveThirtyEight projected a 4.9 point win for Ted Cruz (in their Classic model; two other models had him up 5.2 and 5.3 instead). That overshot the mark by about two and a half points, as Cruz actually won by a 2.56 point margin. To be fair, they nailed it in 2016, predicting an 8.5 point margin. The point is, it’s close. Closer than any time in recent memory. May as well play it that way.

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4 Responses to Adding to the team in Texas

  1. blank says:

    For that matter, earlier this week, there was another close poll in CD-3, Cook moved CD-32 to “Likely Dem”, and the NRCC canceled $2 million in ad spending in Houston. That third one could be for different and complex reasons, but the first two are definitely good signs for Democrats.

  2. asmith says:

    I think TX will be a one or two point race either way. That’s why Allen West is going to every exurban megachurch to tell his base they need 80-85% of the vote in rural counties to offset the cities and suburbs. I didn’t think CD32 or CD7 were in play but the millionaire donors in North Dallas and Westside Houston have been working the refs at NRCC to play in these districts. Wouldn’t be surprised this time next month if CD22, CD23, and CD24 get triaged to save Roy, Crenshaw, McCaul, and possibly Ron Wright.

  3. Flypusher says:

    If TX is really that close in the Presidential race (and I hope it is), I expect the see a lot of those seats flipping.

  4. brad says:

    Wow!…19 paid staff in a state of 29 million residents!

    Surely that 1 staffer to 1.5 million residents will tip the race to Biden…yawn.

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