O’Rourke announces 1st campaign hires in early voting Nevada

Beto O'Rourke

Democratic presidential candidate, former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke speaks at the Manchester Democrats annual Potluck Picnic at Oak Park in Manchester, N.H., Saturday, July 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke is announcing his first campaign staff hires in the early voting state of Nevada.

The five staffers announced Monday by the former Texas congressman come months after other candidates in the packed Democratic presidential field announced their first hires in the Western state, with most of the top-tier campaigns boasting at least 30 paid staff.

O’Rourke, who has struggled to break out following his much-hyped debut in the field of White House hopefuls, has been relying on volunteers and traveling staff on recent campaign visits to Nevada, which has a nearly 30% Latino population and is seen as the first test of a candidate’s appeal before a diverse electorate.

To serve as his state director in Nevada, O’Rourke has hired Marina Negroponte, who helped organize the Hispanic community for We Are All Human Foundation, a civil rights nonprofit, and who spent a decade working in international development for the United Nations.

O’Rourke’s early states director is Abe Rakov, who recently served as president and executive director of voting rights group Let America Vote. The organization ran a 2018 volunteer campaign in Nevada and four other states on behalf of Democratic candidates.

O’Rourke’s Nevada organizing director will be Sean Hoey, who worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and at the consulting firm co-founded by veteran Democratic strategist Jen O’Malley Dillon, who is O’Rourke’s campaign manager.

Cameron Miller, who worked on several Nevada state legislative campaigns, has been hired as O’Rourke’s Nevada political director, and Aman Afsah, who has been working for the Democratic Party of New Mexico, will be the regional organizing director in Nevada.

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