The Obama Campaign in Early Primary States
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(page updated March 21,  2012)

While Republican primary contests were unfolding in the full media spotlight, the Obama campaign had also built up organizations in the early states, as well as around the country, despite the absence of an opponent.  Even at this point, the Obama organizations were often bigger than those of the Republican campaigns.  Democrats and the Obama campaign further noted that these offices would keep on working even as the Republican campaigns shut their offices and moved on to the next contest. 

Keeping in mind that there were also extensive organizations in other key states, below is a look at the Obama organization in the four early states at the time of the respective caucus/primary.


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State Director  Derek Eadon

Eadon directed Iowa Democrats' 2010 Coordinated Campaign.  Previously he was the Iowa state director for Organizing for America.  In the 2007-08 cycle he was the first field organizer hired in Iowa for Obama's campaign, and continued on the campaign through Nov. 2008.  In 2006 he was a field organizer for the Iowa Democrats' Coordinated Campaign in the Cedar Rapids area.  Originally from Elmhurst, Ill.  twitter

Digital Director  Trent Schacht

Central Iowa regional field director for Organizing for America.  Graduate of Valley High School in West Des Moines, 2003.

Data Director  Franny Sharpe

(Aug. 2011)  Field organizer for CWA-Iowa.  Deputy field director for the House caucus campaign at the Iowa Democratic Party, 2010.  A regional director at Repower America, 2009.  Voter file assistant at the Arizona Democratic Party, 2008.  Graduate of Northern Arizona University, 2007.

Field Director  Kevin Geiken

In 2009 Geiken started as deputy field director of Organizing for America.  Graduate in liberal studies from Iowa State University.

Communications Director  John Kraus

Senior advisor on Russ Feingold's unsuccessful 2010 re-election campaign.  In the 2004 cycle, Kraus worked as communications director and spokesman for Feingold's re-election campaign after serving as Wisconsin state director on John Edwards' presidential primary campaign, 2003-04.  Communications director for Attorney General Jim Doyle's winning campaign for governor in 2002.  Communications director on Elizabeth Burmaster’s 2001 election to State Superintendent of Schools.  Wisconsin press secretary on Vice President Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign and earlier executive director of the Wisconsin Democratic Party.  Campaign manager for Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson’s 1999 re-election to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  Graduate of University of Wisconsin.

Regional Field Directors: Matt Beltrami, Zack Davis, Tom Geraci and Emily Flattery

Offices (8 at the time of the caucuses):
official openings of these offices Sept. 20-28, 2011, but some had been operating earlier:

Des Moines
- 621 E 2nd St.

Cedar Rapids
- 2857 Mount Vernon Rd S.E. (sharing with Linn County Democrats)

Council Bluffs - 1851 Madison Ave., #550

Davenport - The Midtown Plaza, 1706 Brady St. #205

Dubuque - 3250 Kennedy Circle

Iowa City - 321 E. Market St.

Sioux City - 4106 Morningside Ave.

Waterloo - 512 Mulberry St.

Field Organizers include: Rachel Gordon, Benjamin Levine...

New Hampshire

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General Election Director  Pete Kavanaugh

A principal at Hilltop Public Solutions.  Advisor on the Jody Wagner for Lt. Governor campaign in Virginia, 2009, and on the Terry McAuliffe for Governor campaign in Virginia, 2009.  Field director on the Virginia Democratic Coordinated Campaign, 2008.  New Hampshire deputy field director on John Edwards for President, 2007-08.  Deputy director of the Missouri Democratic Coordinated Campaign, 2006.  Field director on the Scott Lang for Mayor campaign in New Bedford, MA, 2005.  Political director at, 2004.  Political director on Jim Stork for Congress in FL-22, 2004.  New Hampshire political assistant on the John Edwards for President campaign, 2003-04.  twitter

Digital Director  Brandi Edwards

(Aug. 2011) New media regional desk at the DNC, March-Aug. 2011.  Indiana deputy field director for Organizing for America, July 2009-April 2011.  Started on the Obama 2008 campaign as a field intern in March and in the Fall was a field organizer for the North Carolina Campaign for Change.  B.S. degrees from Indiana State University.

Data Director  Amanda Peel

(reported Oct. 28, 2011 by James Pindell) A regional field director on Virginia Victory '09/Creigh Deeds for Governor.

Field Director Sara Bean Duncan

(reported Oct. 28, 2011 by James Pindell)  5th CD field director for the Democratic Party of Oregon in Fall 2010 after serving as field director on Bradbury for Governor for March-May 2010 and as deputy campaign manager on DeFazio for Congress, July 2009-Jan. 2010.  Worked as a legislative assistant in the Oregon Legislature, Jan.-June 2009.  B.S. in political science from University of Oregon, 2009.

Regional Field Directors

Russell Drapkin

B.F.A. in lighting design from DePaul University, 2002.

Katie Malloy

RFD since Sept. 2011; started as a summer organizer in New York City in Oct. 2010.  Radio affiliate coordinator/podcaster for Fox News Radio, 2008-10 and graphics PA for Fox Business network, 2008-09.  B.A. from Wheaton College, 2005.

Alex Zeitz-Moskin

Consultant at Field Strategies starting in 2010.  B.A. in politics from Oberlin College, 2010.

Janice Rottenberg

Started as an intern in Oct. 2011; in Fall 2008 Rottenberg worked as a field organizer on Obama for America in the Cincinnati area.  B.A. in political science, American politics from University of Pennsylvania, 2011.

Joe Bowen

Offices (7 at the time of the primary):
Manchester - 228 Maple St.

Concord - 105 N. State St.

Dover - 660 Central Ave.

Keene - 294 West St.

Lebanon - 85 Mechanic St.

Nashua - 97 Main St.

Portsmouth - 125 Brewery Lane

Note: James Pindell on Oct. 28 reported a total staff of 15.

Concord - Colin Oldenburg  |  Dover - Ben Croner  |  Exeter - Bay Scoggin  |  Epsom - Miriam L. Cahill-Yeaton  |  Franconia - Nanette Avril  |  Grafton - Judy Wallick  |  Hampton - Chris Muns  |  Hanover - Deb Nelson  |  Keene - Megan Caska  |  Manchester - Kaie Malloy  | Nashua - Sonia Prince and Deidre Reynolds  |  Nelson - Sandy Mackenzie  |  North Caroll - Erik Corbett  |  Portsmouth - Larry Drake  |  Plymouth - Rob Avruch  |  Salem - Katie O'Neil

RFD - Kayla Calkin
Master’s in public policy with a concentration in women’s studies from The George Washington University, May 2011.  New Hampshire staffer for the Clinton campaign in 2008.  Bachelor's degree in political science from Wellesley College, 2007.


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Las Vegas - 2475 S. Jones Blvd, Suite 7, Las Vegas, NV 89151
Reno - 1465 Terminal Way, Suite 1, Reno, NV 89502
Henderson - 2925 Green Valley Pkwy, Henderson, NV 89014 Nov. 10, 2011

State Director  Luke Hayes

(June 2011 through the caucuses)  Texas state director for Organizing for America, 2009-10.  Field organizer on Obama's 2007-08 Nevada caucus campaign; in Fall 2008 Hayes served as deputy field director on the Virginia Campaign for Change.  Worked on Will Wynn’s 2006 campaign for Mayor of Austin, TX.  Graduate of Vassar College.  Originally from the Bronx.   twitter

Field Director  Emmy Ruiz

(field director for Organizing for America from June 2011-Jan. 2012) Texas field director for the DNC, 2009-May 2011.  National field manager of Young Democrats of America, 2008-10.  Hillary Clinton for President campaign, Oct. 2007-May 2008.  Development coordinator/grant writer at the American Red Cross, 2006-07.  Graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio, 2006.   twitter

Deputy Field Director  Steve Sisneros

Worked as a field organizer in the 2010 midterm elections; and earlier worked in the Nevada State Legislature.  Bachelor's degree in criminal justice from UNLV.  Originally from New Mexico.   twitter

Regional Field Director  Anatole Jenkins

Started as an intern with OFA and the DNC in Washington, DC during the 2010-midterms; went on to work with the campaign in Nevada when the reelection launched.   twitter

Data Director  Chris Coger

(Sept. 2011)  Previously at Catalist from Jan. 2008 starting as an intern, then as customer service representative, account executive, senior account executive, and most recently senior product manager.  B.A. in political science from American University.   twitter

Digital Director  Jason Karsh

(Oct. 2011)  Regional field organizer on Obama for America, 2008.  Creative director at Spacedog Interactive Agency, five months in 2007.  Creative director at McElroy, 2002-05.  Sole propreitorship, 2000-02, as well as copywriter.  twitter

Political Director  Mariela Hernandez

Worked for Sen. Harry Reid from May 2005-end of Sept. 2011, starting as a staff assistant, then serving as a regional representative and as manager of strategic outreach.

South Carolina

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State Director  Le'Jamiel (Lee) Goodall

(May 2011)  Georgia state director of Organizing for America, March 2009-April 2011.  In Fall 2008 served as field director on the Georgia Campaign for Change after serving on the primary campaign in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana.  Loan officer, Feb. 2003-Feb. 2008.  B.S. in communications from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., 2003.

Field Director  Patrick Meredith

(Dec. 2011)  Field director on U.S. Congressman Hank Johnson's re-election campaign in 2010.  Worked on Kasim Reed's campaign for Atlanta Mayor in 2009.  Started working for the Democratic Party of Georgia in early 2008 and eventually became the party's canvass director.

Press Secretary  Shira Kramer

(Oct. 2011)  Previously press assistant then deputy press secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce, March 2009-Oct. 2011.  Press assistant at Obama for America, Fall 2008.  Master's degree in business management from the University of Florida Warrington College of Business, 2008; bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Florida, 2007.

Senior Advisor  Rick Wade

Served as deputy chief of staff and senior advisor at the U.S. Department of Commerce.  Served on Obama's 2008 campaign, announced as a senior advisor on May 24, 2007, and was national African American vote director in the general election.  Vice president of business development for Palmetto GBA, a subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina.  Democratic nominee for Secretary of State in 2002, obtaining about 44 percent of the vote.  Senior associate at Fowler Communications.  State director of the S.C. Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Services (announced by Gov. Hodges in Jan. 1999, served through May 2002).  Other experience includes senior manager at Hoffmann-La Roche pharmaceutical company in New Jersey, analyst for the S.C. House Ways & Means Committee, executive assistant to the president of University of South Carolina and chief of staff for former Lt. Gov. Nick Theodore.  MPA from the Kennedy School of Government, 1997.  B.S. from the University of South Carolina.  Native of Lancaster, SC.

Regional Field Directors
Laura Storey

Kayla Mallett

Offices (2 at the time of the primary):

Columbia - 1529 Hampton St.

No. Charleston - 5060 Dorchester Rd.

Field Director - Byron Wellman had been serving as South Carolina field director on Organizing for America since May 2009.  A regional field director on the Florida Campaign for Change in Fall 2008.  A South Carolina field director Chris Dodd's presidential campaign, June-Dec. 2007.  B.A. in public relations from University of South Carolina-Columbia, 2007; served as president of Young Democrats of South Carolina.  Originally from West Virginia.

RFD - Robert Flood