Biden for President
August 3, 2020

ICYMI: Biden for President Announces Third Wave of Senior Staff Hires in Pennsylvania

Today, Biden for President announced a third wave of senior staff hires in Pennsylvania, including political experts from across the state with a wide array of experiences in Pennsylvania politics who have worked with SEIU Local 32BJ and in the office of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.
Nikkilia Lu, Deputy State Director
Nikkilia Lu, also known as Nikki Lu, is a dynamic leader who has helped shape Pennsylvania’s progressive political landscape. Over the course of her career in PA politics she has helped elect progressive candidates at all levels of government and been instrumental in building the progressive infrastructure of the state. Nikki considers herself a political organizer and strategist. In the past, she ran campaigns in the City of Pittsburgh and served as the Western PA Political Director for SEIU Local 32BJ. Most recently, Nikki served as the Pennsylvania Director for the State Innovation Exchange (SiX), where she oversaw agenda setting efforts with legislators and movement partners, working to create the first-ever bicameral governance plan for PA State House and Senate Democrats.
Keyva Clark, Coalitions Director
Keyva Clark most recently served as the Chief of Staff for State Representative Jake Wheatley. Clark was formerly a Communication Analyst in the office of Mayor William Peduto in the City of Pittsburgh. Clark recently received her Masters in Public Management from Carnegie Mellon University. She graduated from the University of California, Riverside Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Minor in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. Clark moved to Pittsburgh in 2015 to participate in Coro as a Fellow in Public Affairs. Since completing Coro, she has gone on to work for For Our Future Fund as a Regional Field Director in Allegheny County, Communications Coordinator at E-Holdings, and, most recently, the Campaign Manager for Pittsburgh’s Mayor Peduto. Clark is the incoming President-Elect for Urban League Young Professionals of Greater Pittsburgh, an auxiliary of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh. In her current role, she focuses on communication strategy city-wide. A social justice advocate Clark is passionate about criminal justice reform, housing, and LGBT rights. Additionally, Clark is an active board member for YDAC and the board of directors for Emerge, Pennsylvania. In her spare time, Clark enjoys cooking, reading, and traveling.
Manuel (Manny) Guzman Jr., Deputy Coalitions Director for Latino Engagement
Manny Guzman is the current Democratic Nominee for HD-127 in Berks County. More recently, Manny has been actively involved in electing democrats all across the Commonwealth as the Coalitions Director with the Pennsylvania Democratic Party (2018-Jan 2020). In that role, Manny was key in engaging communities of color in cities that are often overlooked and disenfranchised. In 2018, Manny led a team of organizers to help Governor Tom Wolf and Senator Bob Casey in their reelection campaigns. Under that leadership, both the Governor and Senator we’re re-elected by double-digit margins in large part to excellent results out of the cities of color along the 222 corridors. Manny has extensive relationships with many elected officials, and community leaders across the state and is ready to engage  those relationships to ensure a Biden victory.
TribLive: Women with ties to Pittsburgh hired to help Joe Biden’s Pennsylvania campaign
[By Jamie Martines, 8/3/20]
Two staff members with ties to Pittsburgh-area politics will help to lead former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign in Pennsylvania, the campaign announced Monday.
Nikkilia Lu, a political organizer and strategist who served as the Western Pennsylvania Political Director for Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ and the Pennsylvania Director for the State Innovation Exchange (SiX), will serve as the campaign’s deputy state director.
Keyva Clark, who served as the chief of staff for state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Pittsburgh, and as a communications analyst in the office of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, will serve as the campaign’s coalitions director.
Clark and Lu were not available for comment Sunday.
A Franklin and Marshall College Poll released July 30 shows that Biden currently leads President Donald Trump among Pennsylvania’s registered voters 50% to 41%.
About 2% of voters said they would vote for another candidate and 6% said they are undecided.
A July 15 Monmouth University poll also puts Biden ahead of Trump by 13 points in Pennsylvania, with 53% of respondents supporting Biden and 40% voting for Trump.
Trump took Pennsylvania in 2016 with 48.8% of the statewide vote. He won most of Southwestern Pennsylvania with the exception of Allegheny County, which tipped in favor of the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.
Biden kicked off his 2020 presidential campaign at the Teamsters Local 249 banquet hall in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood in April 2019.
He told the crowd of about 600 that he chose Pittsburgh for his first campaign stop because the city represents working class Americans.
“I also came here because, quite frankly folks, if I’m going to be able to beat Donald Trump in 2020, it’s going to happen here,” Biden said during the event. “With your help, I think we’re going to be able to do that.”
Biden, a Scranton native, in early July visited Northeastern Pennsylvania to deliver an economic plan that included plans to boost the manufacturing and technology sectors, establish a $15-per-hour minimum wage and focus on labor policy.


Biden for President
July 23, 2020

ICYMI: Biden for President Announces Additional Key Staff Hires in Pennsylvania

Today, Biden for President announced additional key staff hires in Pennsylvania – including political strategists from across the state who have years of experience on House, Senate, and Presidential races.
Larry Hailsham Jr., Pennsylvania Political Director
Larry Hailsham Jr. a Pittsburgh native joins the campaign after serving as Government Affairs Manager for the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce. Previously he served as Special Assistant to Senator Bob Casey and Western Political Coordinator for Senator Casey's successful 2018 senate race.
Michael Feldman, Pennsylvania Communications Director
A Philadelphia native, Michael most recently served as the deputy communications director for Protect Our Care, the organization leading the fight against the Trump administration's efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act. In 2018, Michael was the DSCC embed and state party spokesperson for Senator Joe Donnelly's re-election campaign in Indiana. Previously, Michael held communications roles on Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign in Pennsylvania, along with several other progressive organizations.
Nandi O’Connor, Pennsylvania Coordinated Digital Director
Nandi most recently served as Digital Director for Organizing Together 2020 PA where she had the opportunity to create and build digital infrastructure across the state in the midst of COVID-19. She also previously served as the Pennsylvania Content Producer for Priorities USA, where she worked to collect and capture stories of real people feeling the effect of Trump’s policies, and partnered with organizations on the ground to make sure those stories reached voters across channels. As a lifelong Philadelphian, Nandi is passionate about leveraging digital tools and platforms to meet Pennsylvania voters where they are.
Amy Dorra, Deputy Coordinated Political Director
A California native and Philadelphia transplant, Amy Dorra most recently served as Political Director for Early States for Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang. In 2018, she helped to flip two Southwest Pennsylvania Congressional Districts blue as Congressman Conor Lamb's Political Director in the Special Election for the previous PA 18 (Allegheny, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland counties) and the newly drawn PA 17 (Allegheny, Butler and Beaver counties). Previously she served as Campaign Manager for Virginia State Delegate Kaye Kory's re-election and on the Organizing team for Alabama Senator Doug Jones' Special Election in 2017.
Philadelphia Inquirer: Joe Biden adds more Pennsylvania staffers, including Western Pa. operatives
[By Jonathan Tamari, 7/23/20]
Joe Biden has added four new aides to his Pennsylvania campaign staff, including two with experience in Western Pennsylvania, as he builds out his team in a state crucial to the presidential election.
As Pennsylvania political director, Biden has hired Larry Hailsham Jr., a Pittsburgh native who previously worked as the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce’s government affairs manager. He also worked as Western Political Coordinator for Sen. Bob Casey’s 2018 senate reelection campaign.
Michael Feldman, a Philadelphia native, will be Pennsylvania communications director. He most recently served as the deputy communications director for Protect Our Care, which aims to protect the Affordable Care Act. He also worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign in Pennsylvania.
Nandi O’Connor, a lifelong Philadelphian, will be Biden’s digital director for organizing in the state. She previously worked for Organizing Together 2020 PA, which aimed to build out field teams in battleground states, and for Priorities USA, a Democratic super PAC.
And as deputy coordinated political director, Biden hired Amy Dorra, a Philadelphian who previously worked on Rep. Conor Lamb’s victories in conservative leaning districts in Western Pennsylvania.


Biden for President
July 7, 2020

ICYMI: Biden for President Announces Key Staff Hires in Pennsylvania

Today, Biden for President announced key staff hires in Pennsylvania – including longtime Pennsylvania political operatives who have combined decades of experience in high-profile local, statewide, and national progressive campaigns.
Brendan McPhillips, State Director
Brendan McPhillips has over a decade of experience championing progressive candidates and causes. He most recently served as the Iowa State Director for Pete Buttigieg, delivering an historic victory in February's Iowa Caucuses. Prior to joining Mayor Pete's campaign, Brendan managed Andrew Gillum's upset victory in the 2018 Democratic primary for governor of Florida. McPhillips has worked in a number of roles in Pennsylvania politics including serving as Councilmember Helen Gym's campaign manager in 2015 and senior advisor in 2019, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman's campaign manager in the 2016 U.S. Senate primary, and is a veteran of both the Obama and Clinton presidential campaigns in Pennsylvania.
Sinceré Harris, Senior Advisor
Sinceré Harris led the Pennsylvania Democratic Party through an historic period of transformation. In the post-Trump era, PA Democrats have picked up big victories - including five Congressional seats, historic statewide re-election wins for both Sen. Casey & Gov. Wolf, double digit net gains in the State Legislature, and wrested control away from the GOP for the first time in decades in key counties. Prior to joining the PA Democrats, Harris played a key role in Tom Wolf's gubernatorial campaign, serving as Deputy Statewide Political Director before going on to work in the Wolf Administration in the Office of Legislative Affairs. Additionally, Harris has previously worked with a local non-profit organization, as well as President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012.
Philadelphia Inquirer: Joe Biden has hired top aides to run his Pennsylvania campaign
[By Jonathan Tamari, 07/07/2020]
Joe Biden has added two Philadelphians with extensive experience in Pennsylvania politics to lead his campaign operation in a state critical to the presidential election and his hopes of winning the White House.
Biden on Tuesday will name Brendan McPhillips as his Pennsylvania state director and Sinceré Harris as senior adviser in the state, the campaign confirmed to the Inquirer.
McPhillips, who lives in Point Breeze, most recently led Pete Buttigieg’s campaign in Iowa, helping the former South Bend, Ind. mayor pull off a surprising first place finish. McPhillips previously managed Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s U.S. Senate primary campaign in 2016 and Helen Gym’s successful 2015 city council run. He also led Andrew Gillum’s 2018 bid for governor of Florida.
Harris, a Philadelphia native and Temple University alumna, has been executive director of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party since 2015 and has close ties to Gov. Tom Wolf after previously serving as his deputy statewide political director and working in his administration.

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