Although he has not even announced his intention to run, supporters of Texas Democrat Robert “Beto” O’Rourke are wasting no time to push his candidacy.
Lisa Hagen reports at The Hill:
Group hoping to draft Beto plans ambitious 2020 push
A group of Democratic activists who support a 2020 White House run by former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) is planning an ambitious draft movement, including raising $1 million for the former congressman, building a donor email list and rolling out billboards and even, potentially, the first TV ad.
Draft Beto, which was formed a month after O’Rourke fell short in a surprisingly close Senate race in deep-red Texas, is also on a hiring spree, including bringing onboard a number of veteran operatives with ties to former President Obama’s campaigns and other Democrats who approached the group.
The group has brought on a seasoned staff of 20 and is building a presence in the four early nominating states, with new senior additions from Iowa on the horizon. All staffers serve in an unpaid, volunteer capacity.
The fact that these folks are working for free at least shows they are in earnest. It also highlights how tough competition for staffers is going to be in such a crowded field.
“You hear all the stories of all the Democratic campaigns finding operatives in states who will work for them and pay them,” Nate Lerner, co-founder of Draft Beto, told The Hill. “We have the opposite experience with people coming to us and willing to work for free.”…
Lerner said there are two operatives in Iowa working behind the scenes for the campaign to avoid conflicting with their day jobs. He said those people are helping to connect them with others on the ground. Draft Beto plans to announce its first Iowa adviser soon.
According to the group, all of this is being done without having any contact with their preferred candidate:
Despite all the efforts, the group hasn’t had any contact with O’Rourke. But they are planning to reach out soon, especially if an announcement is imminent.
“We do plan to contact him at some point, not talking about ads or strategy,” Lerner said, adding that they want to “notify them we’re doing things and get their initial impression of our existence.”
This is the message on the home page of the DraftBeto2020 website:
We believe Beto O’Rourke should be the next President of the United States.
Every four years, we’re told “this is the most important election of our lifetime.” The difference this time is that 2020 actually is.
As Democrats, we need to nominate a candidate who will move our country past four years of turmoil and bigotry.
Even more important, we need to nominate a candidate who can unite Democrats – and all Americans – around a shared, inclusive vision of who we are as a party and a nation. Democrats win when we remind people what we stand for: fairness, inclusivity, and bold, progressive solutions to the challenges we all face.
We believe the candidate best-suited to run such a campaign – and win back the White House – is Beto O’Rourke.
It’s a pretty safe bet that O’Rourke will run. He offered his own response to Trump’s national address on Tuesday night. The real question is how he will fare in a primary which will be mired in identity politics.DONATE
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