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Biden’s campaign’s top spots begin to take shape

The upper echelons of President Biden’s anticipated re-election campaign are beginning to take shape, with another Democratic operative responsible for a major party victory last year poised to play a top role.

Quentin Faulks, who served as campaign manager for Sen. Raphael Warnock’s closely watched and historically expensive victory in Georgia last year, will serve as deputy campaign manager for Mr. Biden’s re-election bid, four people familiar with the plans told CBS News.

If not billions of dollars to keep the White House in Democratic hands, Fulks will now lead a re-election campaign poised to raise hundreds of millions. News of Faulks’ hiring was first reported by Bloomberg News.

Fulks is a native of rural Ellaville, Georgia, who also worked on Illinois Governor JD Pritzker’s 2018 campaign. In an interview with The Associated Press last month, he recalled how Warnock’s campaign focused not only on building support in and around Atlanta, but also in small rural communities like Ellaville, where former President Donald Trump and Republicans historically have easily won elections.

“In a difficult environment, we chose to reach out to those voters,” Faulks told The AP. “And that separates us, quite frankly, from the Democratic slate and even from President Biden.”

CBS News first reported That Julie Chavez Rodriguez, a senior White House official and former aide to then-Sen. Kamala Harris is set to serve as Mr. Biden’s campaign manager for his 2020 presidential bid. He was the top choice of the president, the first lady and his most senior advisers after an extensive interview process that involved several candidates from across the party, according to two people familiar with the plan.

The Biden campaign is also in the process of hiring other party operatives for senior roles, but people familiar with the discussions say it is expected to take some time to build the staff over the next few weeks and into the summer. The campaign’s senior staff is ultimately set to reflect a mix of geographic, gender and ethnic diversity, but also an array of recent campaign experience, according to people tracking the process.

Democratic National Committee Executive Director Sam Cornell and DNC Deputy Executive Director Roger Lau and a former senior adviser to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren are possibly in talks to join the campaign, according to two people familiar with the conversation. Emma Brown, who managed Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly’s successful campaign last year, is also expected to take a senior job, according to a person familiar with the strategy.

Cornell and Lau are well-liked by the president’s top White House aides, who are expected to play major strategic roles in the upcoming campaign. Fulks and Brown reflect the Democratic Party’s recent successes in two swing states where the president is looking to win again to secure an Electoral College victory.

Drawing from the DNC’s top leadership ranks, it’s no surprise that the national party machinery is poised to bankroll and accelerate reelection efforts. The National Party is set to support the president’s re-election and is not planning to hold a presidential debate, even as the president faces nominal primary opposition from activists Marianne Williamson and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Nancy Cordes and Nicole Killion contributed to this report.

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Ed O’Keefe

Ed O'Keefe

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