Another 2020 hopeful that hasn’t official declared his candidacy but is looking at making inroads in South Carolina is Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif.
Mary Geren, a Democrat who recently lost in her own election bid for South Carolina’s 3rd congressional district, met with Swalwell to help lead his efforts within the state, if he decides to run, Swalwell campaign consultant Lisa Tucker said.
“We have a lot of respect for Mary Geren; she accepted a job elsewhere. We’ve made one hire so far in South Carolina and we’ll continue to staff up there and elsewhere as the congressman tests the waters,” Tucker said.
Swalwell said in a text message that he’s “getting close” to deciding whether he will enter the race – and confirmed he has been interviewing potential staffers.
The campaign of Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., has heard from dozens of free agent political operatives around the state who want to join her team, including alumni from Joe Cunningham’s congressional campaign, according to people familiar with the outreach.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has yet to officially announce an office in South Carolina, has also been talking with possible staff hires and gearing up to court voters in the state, according to people familiar with the matter.
“We are in the process of hiring staff in South Carolina,” said a Gillibrand aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity
Swalwell, Gillibrand and Harris have all been flocking to there to speak with voters. Sen. Cory Booker, who has also staffed up in the key state, made his first official campaign stop there Sunday, while Harris is making her second trip to the Palmetto State this weekend.
Representatives for Harris’ South Carolina office and Gillibrand’s exploratory committee declined to comment.