Hillary Rodham Clinton, moving closer to a presidential bid, is building out her New Hampshire campaign team, tapping a trio of operatives with ties to state Democratic networks for local outreach.
Adding to a team that has been working to keep a low profile as Clinton moves toward a formal announcement this weekend, Gene Martin, Mike Ollen, and Liz Wester are coming on board, according to a New Hampshire Democratic source.
The first-in-the-nation primary state has twice provided the Clintons with a boost, helping propel Bill Clinton to the nomination and presidency in 1992, and giving Hillary Clinton a victory in 2008 that extended the primary for months. And she currently holds large leads in early state polling over other potential Democratic contenders in 2016.
But Clinton’s team is wary of projecting the air of inevitability, and they have been lining up political talent in early-voting states with deep local connections.
Martin, a Manchester native, was director of the state Senate Democratic caucus, a 10-member constituency that will be closely watched for signs of defection from the Clinton campaign. A volunteer for Clinton’s 2008 campaign, Martin has also been political director of the state party, and he managed its Committee to Elect House Democrats in 2012.
Ollen was a field organizer in the state for President Obama’s re-election campaign and speechwriting assistant to former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, according to his LinkedIn profile. Ollen has also worked for congresswoman Annie Kuster and Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s reelection campaign last year. He works at Hilltop Public Solutions, the same political consulting firm that employs Sean Downey, the Northeast organizing director for the Ready for Hillary super PAC.
Wester directed the state’s Committee to Elect House Democrats, and was outreach coordinator for former Massachusetts congressman John Tierney, who lost his re-election bid in a primary last year. She has also been field director for a pro-same-sex marriage campaign, and the Human Rights Campaign. Wester has also worked for US Senator Elizabeth Warren, according to the New Hampshire source.
Clinton is reportedly planning to announce her presidential campaign this weekend, with plans to visit Iowa and other early-voting states, including New Hampshire, soon after.