2020 Presidential Election

In the early days of the 2020 presidential election cycle, there are a lot of moving parts with at least ten democratic candidates and some announced republican challengers to the incumbent president. Although numerous venues exist with quality information on the election, FiveThirtyEight tends to stand out among the group.

Another candidate who will be interesting to watch is Andrew Yang, who gained notable traction during the summer of 2019 as voters became more aware of him (see above favorability infographic), and has remained consistent in presenting himself as a "capitalist" democrat with a focus on the positive and negative impacts of technology innovation.

Illinois-Centric Presidential News

The first presidential campaigns to ramp up staff in Illinois were for candidates Michael Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren. Click here or see below for more details.

Initial senior staff for candidate Michael Bloomberg include:

  • Tom Bowen (senior adviser) - co-founder of New Chicago consulting; worked or consulted with more than 75 campaigns including President Barack Obama in 2008, former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2011 campaign, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s 2019 campaign, and the now-ended 2020 presidential campaign of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee
  • Kara Highfill (state director) - State Treasurer Mike Frerichs’ office advocacy director for the division of unclaimed property; managed Treasurer Frerichs’ re-election campaign in 2018, and managed political campaigns at the state, county and local level since 2016
  • Julie Kaviar (communications director) - chief of staff to Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton; deputy press secretary to former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and worked in communications for former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration
  • Briana Collins (operations director) - Michael Bloomberg’s mayoral administration; executive director of the New York City Commission on Women’s Issues from 2006-2012
  • Joshua May (associate political director) - political director for U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield); staffer for Illinois state Rep. Bob Morgan (D-Deerfield)

Initial senior staff for candidate Elizabeth Warren include:

  • Stephen Campbell (state director) - political director of the Illinois Senate Democratic Victory Fund; graduate of Roosevelt University in Chicago and worked on Illinois Senate Democratic staff
  • Maggie Seppi (organizing director) - New Hampshire organizing director on the now-ended presidential campaign of U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York; deputy field director for the North Carolina Democratic Party
  • Jason Lee (community organizing director) - political director for United Working Families; adviser and field director for the Chicago Teachers Union
  • Tonantzin Carmona (political outreach director) - special assistant to the president of the Chicago Community Trust; chief of policy in the Chicago city clerk’s office
  • Emma LaBounty (training director) - organizer with the Chicago Metro Project of the American Federation of Teachers
  • Daniel Curtis (data director) - chief of staff for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Artificial Intelligence Policy for the World Project
  • Erica Sagrans (mobilization director) - organizer and campaign strategist whose experience includes being campaign manager for state Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago)