Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden's presidential campaign on Friday named its senior staff for Colorado as the former vice president beefs up the organization in a state considered likely to tilt his way in November.
Ernie Apreza, who worked on Hillary Clinton's 2016 Colorado campaign, will be the campaign's state director.
Jennie Peek-Dunstone, a seasoned Democratic operative in Colorado, joins the campaign as senior advisor for the state.
In addition, the Biden campaign has named campaign and political veterans Khadija Katherine Haynes as its strategic advisor and Bianka Emerson to be coalitions director.
“Coloradans won't forget Trump's inability to lead our country during this pandemic, and this fall they will have the opportunity to make a change and send Joe Biden to the White House," a campaign spokesman told Colorado Politics.
While Biden has been leading President Donald Trump in Colorado by wide margins in recent publicly available polling and election forecasters have put the state in the blue column, both candidates' campaigns say they're treating the state — which features a marquee U.S. Senate race — as up for grabs in November.
Apreza, Biden's newly installed Colorado state director, was most recently communications director for Seattle's mayor as the city grappled with the country's earliest COVID-19 outbreak. Before that, he was Nevada state director for California Sen. Kamala Harris' presidential campaign.
In 2016, he was deputy communications director for Clinton's Colorado campaign and has prudential campaign experience stretching back to 2012 on the Obama campaign.
Peek-Dunstone has worked on numerous Colorado campaigns, including helming the Democratic Senate Campaign Fund and serving as executive director of the state party in 2010.
Her husband, Adam Dunstone, is a regional political director for the Biden campaign and held the same position ahead of the state's March presidential primary, when Biden placed second behind Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Haynes was most recently deputy political director for Mike Bloomerg's Colorado presidential campaign. Among a wide-ranging set of jobs in the cultural and community realm, she served as chief of staff and policy director for the state Senate Democrats and was director of operations in Gov. Roy Romer's administration.
Emerson also worked on Bloomberg's Colorado campaign, as constituency outreach director. She held positions on Gov. Jared Polis and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock's campaign and has served on numerous community and nonprofit boards, with a focus on orgniztoins advocating for those most in need, the campaign said.
Jill Biden is scheduled to take part in a virtual campaign event in the state Friday afternoon to tour a union training facility and discuss her husband's economic recovery plan for working families — her second online visit to Colorado in recent months.
Clinton carried Colorado's nine electoral votes by about 5 percentage points four years ago, a smaller margin than the wins posted in the two previous presidential elections by Democrat Barack Obama, and the state's electorate appears to have shifted even further toward the Democrats in the years since.
The Trump campaign has had a state director in place for more than a year and recently boasted its volunteers had made their 2 millionth contact with a Colorado voter. A spokesman for the Trump campaign and state GOP's Victory operation told Colorado Politics the Republicans plan to go all-out in the state and surprise skeptics.
"Colorado Trump Victory cannot be stopped!" said Andres Malave, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, in a statement. Following the campaign's milestone voter contact in Colorado, he said, "[I]t's clear that voters and volunteers across Colorado support President Trump's agenda of ‘promises made, promises kept,’ and are fired up to re-elect President Trump in November."