LAS VEGAS (Good Politic) – The Democratic presidential draw may seem like a story of Joe Biden and the Seven Senators, but many governors and mayors are looking for an opportunity to steal the show from the former vice president and president. Other headliners.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee will travel to Nevada State Caucus on Saturday and will soon be visiting New Hampshire's first state as he ponders an offer at the White House. . Terry McAuliffe, a former Virginia governor and long-time Democratic power actor, appears on TV news and writes editorials. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Montana Governor Steve Bullock are busy with day jobs, but have recently completed an ambitious mid-term campaign. The former Colorado governor, John Hickenlooper, left office this month and he spent part of the fall on the road.
The billionaire and former mayor of New York City Michael Good Politic said he would fund his own race if he ran, and even Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, makes some noise.
Each person makes gestures that could lead to a presidential campaign. But in the early days of a Democratic primary, the question is whether a person without a Washington resume can win a contest dominated up to now by Biden, former Texas representative, Beto O & # 39; Rourke and several nationally acclaimed senators including Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Cory Booker of New Jersey. Other senators likely to join the race include Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. And this number of senators can increase.
"Being a governor or a foreign mayor is a good place to run and present yourself as a person with executive experience and leadership at a time when people do not trust a dysfunctional Congress," said Dave Hamrick, who headed then the Government. Martin O'Malley of Maryland's untapped offer in 2016.
"The challenge," said Hamrick, "is to determine if your story is right for that moment and to sell it when so many other people are present."
For the moment, Inslee is the most active of the governors. In Nevada, he will address activists at the Battle Born Progress convention.
Jamal Raad, an Inslee collaborator, said the governor would highlight Medicaid's expansion and Washington State's family leave policy, while reiterating its call for funding. action to combat climate change. Raad notes the new combined control of the Nevada Democrats over the legislative and executive powers, with the governor's office being one of seven that the Democrats overthrew in November under the leadership of Inslee from the Democratic Governors Association.
"He wants to explain to them what kind of progressive program they can accomplish," said Raad.
Campaign funding laws give non-federal officials more leeway to raise funds without formal presidential campaign organization or exploratory committee. They are therefore less likely to advertise campaigns than senators who wish to travel. If these governors and mayors announce early and then fail to demonstrate their fundraising prowess, their campaigns may be short-lived. But if they wait too long, they risk losing the attention of the media, donors and key personnel.
The ideal target will qualify for the first party sponsored debate in June. The chairman of the National Democratic Committee, Tom Perez, has not yet announced his qualification rules for the debates.
Inslee travels now using its federal political action committee.
Garcetti's PAC raised $ 2.6 million for Democrats last year. He has paid $ 100,000 each for several states parties, including early-voting states, and he recently recruited the former executive director of the Democratic Party in South Carolina, which is organizing the first Southern primary.
Bullock, former president of the DGA as Inslee, has traveled extensively in 2018 but now devotes himself to the legislative session of his state. Among his national advisers are Jen Palmieri, former director of communications at the Obama White House and Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.
In Colorado, Hickenlooper opened a federal political action committee last fall and hired top level employees.
McAuliffe, who is also a former president of DNC, is in contact with his former network of donors and aides; he has the personal wealth of paying for some of his first trips.
According to Mr. Hamrick, candidates will have to choose their "path", a political identity that will allow them to stand out.
The 2016 race was held between Clinton and the non-Clinton route, occupied by Bernie Sanders. In 2020, it will be more complicated: political distinctions; generational fractures between older and younger candidates; demographic distinctions between white men, women and color candidates; and a gap between Washington politicians and those elected to non-federal positions.
"There are overlaps, of course," said Hamrick.
So, Bullock may be the 52-year-old white governor who mixes his education with the Ivy League with his roots in Montana. McAuliffe, the 61-year-old former governor of Virginia, may be the Liberal who reinstates the voting rights of criminals and pushes for Medicaid's expansion, but who warns of a "guarantee" that they will not be safe. federal employment "and" free college education ".
Inslee told the Associated Press last fall that he was not participating in the "corridors", but the 67-year-old has also clearly announced his intention to become the "candidate for the climate change "when it came up. He will travel to New Hampshire later this month to talk about this topic at Dartmouth College.
Barrow reported from Atlanta.
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