Beto in talks with Dem strategist for campaign manager

March 19, 2019

Newly announced Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke is looking for a campaign manager, CNN reports; and he has begun discussions with veteran Democratic strategist Jen O’Malley Dillon, who previously served as deputy campaign manager for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, and as a top political consultant for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada.

O’Rourke told reporters in Milwaukee on Sunday that he is “in talks” with someone to become his campaign manager and has offered the job to one person. He did identify that person, CNN said.

O’Rourke and O’Malley Dillon met at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference and festival in Austin  to discuss the role on March 16, aides told CNN, and they talked about the possibility of her joining the campaign in a subsequent call. She remains uncertain about the role, a source said, but is likely to decide this week.

It is unusual for a high-profile campaign like O’Rourke’s to launch without a campaign manager—but the former Texas congressman has seen great enthusiasm for his run, having raised $6.1 million in contributions from the public during the first hours after he announced he was in.

He has met with several people, aides said, but has yet to be successful in hiring someone to lead the campaign efforts from its headquarters in El Paso, Texas.

“I’m working with an extraordinary team right now, some of whom helped me in the amazing Senate race that we ran in Texas, some of whom are new to this campaign,” O’Rourke said Sunday, CNN reported. “I am in talks with someone who might be very excited to lead this effort, but at the same time that I say that, I want to give my thanks to the team that has started this up and allowed us to have such a strong start three-and-a-half days into this campaign.”

Asked how many people he has offered the job to, O’Rourke said, “I have made one offer.”

O’Rourke’s campaign declined to comment to CNN and O’Malley Dillon did not return requests for comment.

Research contact: @ericbradner

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