In Massachusetts, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Democratic presidential campaign is going from zero to nearly 60 staffers in just a matter of weeks as the billionaire attempts to make a statement at the ballot box immediately after the first four states vote.
Citing his very late entry in the presidential race, Bloomberg is skipping the first contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina and hoping to make a big splash on Super Tuesday, March 3, when Massachusetts, California, Texas and 11 others states vote.
The Bloomberg campaign told the Globe they have already hired 36 staffers in Massachusetts alone and hope to grow to a team of 57 in six different offices. Final decisions are being made now on where to open a state headquarters near Boston. For context, Hillary Clinton narrowly won the 2016 Massachusetts Democratic primary with only 10 paid staffers.
Leading the Massachusetts team as a senior advisor is Will Keyser, who helped lead Republican Charlie Baker to two gubernatorial victories. Keyser was an aide to the late Senator Ted Kennedy and former US representative Marty Meehan.
Joining Keyser as part of the senior team are State Director Jordan Overstreet, state Operations Director Natalie Kostich, and Organizing Director Ross Doty.
In addition to staff, Bloomberg has had the most aggressive television advertising campaign in the state and a full direct mail program will soon be underway, according to Keyser.
“We are going to run a modern, well-financed campaign in Massachusetts, and we think we’ll be competitive,” said Keyser.
Bloomberg, a Medford native, could face at least two candidates who have already won twice statewide: Senator Elizabeth Warren and former governor Deval Patrick, both of whom have Massachusetts state directors in place. Warren also has two campaign offices in the state and has held volunteer summits.
To be sure, other Democratic campaigns are also active in Massachusetts. Former vice president Joe Biden has a state headquarters in Quincy, a state director, and 50 local endorsements, including former US secretary of state and US senator John Kerry, and US Representative Stephen Lynch.
Senator Bernie Sanders recently named a new political director, his campaign’s only staff member in the state. But volunteers have already held 765 events in the state.
Former mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign in Massachusetts is also volunteer driven and claims to have had events in all nine congressional districts in the state.
James Pindell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.