116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, who has been drawing big crowds, is beefing up his Iowa campaign staff.
The campaign announced Monday that it has hired a state director, a caucus director and some regional staff. The five hires include three who had been working for the now-suspended effort in the state to draft Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., into a candidacy.
Just last week, the Sanders campaign said it had hired Blaire Lawton, the man who led the Warren effort here.
On Monday, the campaign said Robert Becker, who ran former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's Iowa campaign in 2008, had been hired to be Sanders' state director.
In addition to other campaigns, Becker worked for former Sen. Bill Bradley in Iowa when he ran for president in 2000.
'From day one we vowed to assemble a top-notch campaign team in Iowa, and we continue to demonstrate our commitment to doing just that,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders' national campaign director, in a statement on Monday. 'Iowa's caucus process is tailor-made for Bernie Sanders' grass roots style of campaigning and we will continue to build a first-in-the-nation organization to capitalize on that strength.”
The campaign has said it plans to have about two dozen staffers on the ground sometime this summer.
Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, has been drawing large crowds not only in Iowa but in other states, too. But he has trailed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Iowa in public opinion polls. And Clinton also has had an organizational head start.
The Clinton campaign has had more than two dozen field staffers on the ground for weeks now.
Also, it welcomed more than 'fellows” over the weekend, who underwent training and are being sent to work with the campaign's regional staff across the state.
The unpaid volunteers, who are part of the campaign's Hillary for Iowa Organizing Fellowship program, come from other parts of the country and are expected to be here through August.
After they leave, there will be separate groups of fellows who will arrive in the state to work in the fall and then in winter, the campaign says.
Also in the race are former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and ex-Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee.
The caucuses are scheduled for Feb. 1.