O’Rourke in talks with veteran Democratic strategist

O’Rourke in talks with veteran Democratic strategist
Copyright 2019 CNN

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke is in discussions with veteran Democratic strategist Jen O’Malley Dillon to become his campaign manager, a source familiar with the discussions told CNN.

O’Rourke told reporters in Milwaukee on Sunday that he is “in talks” with someone to become his campaign manager and has offered the job to one person. He did not say who that person is.

O’Rourke’s campaign declined to comment, and O’Malley Dillon did not return requests for comment.

O’Rourke and O’Malley Dillon met at South by Southwest to discuss the role last Saturday, aides tell CNN, and they talked about the possibility of her joining the campaign in a subsequent call. She remains uncertain about the role, a source said, but is likely to decide this week.

It is unusual for a high-profile campaign like O’Rourke’s to launch without a campaign manager. He has met with several people, aides said, but has yet to be successful in hiring someone to lead the campaign efforts from its headquarters in El Paso, Texas.

“I’m working with an extraordinary team right now, some of whom helped me in the amazing Senate race that we ran in Texas, some of whom are new to this campaign,” O’Rourke said Sunday. “I am in talks with someone who might be very excited to lead this effort, but at the same time that I say that, I want to give my thanks to the team that has started this up and allowed us to have such a strong start three-and-a-half days into this campaign.”

Asked how many people he has offered the job to, O’Rourke said, “I have made one offer.”

O’Malley Dillon was the deputy campaign manager of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign and a top political consultant for Justin Trudeau in Canada. She is also a former executive director of the Democratic National Committee and recently agreed to lead a new Democratic data exchange operation.