President Joe Biden’s 2024 reelection campaign announced they’d be opening seven general election offices across Georgia over the next two weeks.

According to the announcement, they’ll be hiring 10 new staff members for the state campaign effort as well.

The offices are being opened in a joint effort between the presidential campaign for Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and the Democratic National Committee.

“The power of organizing and early investments turned Georgia blue in 2020, leading to four years of progress under President Biden, Vice President Harris, and a Democratic Senate,” Dan Kanninen, Biden-Harris Battleground States Director, said in the announcement. “This team of operatives is battle-tested and ready to work together with organizers across the state to help President Biden win and defeat Donald Trump and his MAGA allies for the third election in a row. “

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In the announcement for the new offices said that Biden’s primary opponent, former President Donald Trump, “has no campaign presence in Georgia.”

Heading up the new campaign effort is Jonae Wartel, a Marietta native. Wartel will be stepping into the role of senior advisor for Georgia on the campaign.

“I couldn’t be more excited to work with this talented group to help bring Georgia home again for President Biden,” Jonae Wartel, senior advisor for Georgia, said in a statement. “From creating more than 450,000 jobs in our state to capping insulin costs at $35, all of the progress we’ve seen over the past four years is because we delivered Georgia in 2020. We’re going to make sure that Georgians know it’s President Biden working for us, lowering costs for our families and protecting our fundamental freedoms – while Donald Trump is only out for himself.”

Georgia GOP Chairman Josh McKoon provided the following statement to Channel 2 Action News in response to the Biden campaign’s new office plans.

“The Georgia Republican Party is working in concert with the Republican National Committee and the Trump Campaign to insure a strong win for President Donald Trump. Despite the recent announcement that the Democratic Party has hired out of state far-left activists who appear to have primarily helmed losing contests for public office around the country, we feel confident that our team is well prepared to put Georgia’s 16 electoral votes in President Trump’s column in November,” McKoon said, adding that the Georgia Republican Party “hope[s] these newcomers to our state enjoy their time in the greatest state in the nation to do business and raise a family!”

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While the exact locations of the offices were not in the announcement, the campaign released the following details on the 10 new staff members for the Georgia campaign:

  • Senior Advisor – Jonae Wartel is a Marietta native who served as Senior Advisor for the Georgia Senate Runoff election. Previously, she served as the 2020-21 Runoff Director and led the Democrats’ efforts to elect Senators Warnock and Ossoff. Jonae has held leadership roles with Stacey Abrams’ 2018 gubernatorial campaign, the Democratic National Committee and Organizing Corps. Additionally, she served in key management roles on the 2008, 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns.

  • State Director – Porsha White is a lifelong organizer and political strategist. She has worked on political campaigns on all levels, from mayoral to Presidential. In 2014, Porsha worked as the Public Policy Manager at Planned Parenthood Southeast, then became the National Political Director at Let America Vote. Recently, she was the Deputy Political Director for Deval Patrick 2020 before joining End Citizens United/Let America Vote as the Vice President of Voting Rights and State Organizing. Porsha is a native of Jackson, Mississippi, and is now a resident of Decatur, Georgia.

  • State Campaign Manager – Lacey Morrison most recently served as Campaign Manager for Katie Porter’s Senate Campaign. She previously worked as Regional Political Director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, focusing on the Sunbelt, and she managed the congressional campaigns of Gina Ortiz (TX) and Rep. Josh Gottheimer. She started her career in the office of the Mayor of Columbus, Georgia and is a graduate of the University of Georgia.

  • General Election Director – Teddy Smyth currently serves as Executive Director of the Georgia House Democrats. He previously served as Georgia Recount Training Director and Southern Regional GOTV Desk in 2020 for the Biden-Harris campaign. Teddy worked in several positions for Cory Booker’s 2020 campaign, including National Distributed Organizing Director and the New Hampshire Organizing Director. He has also worked as State Director for NextGen New Hampshire, Campaign Manager for Jennifer Caroll Foy for Delegate and Regional Organizing Director for North Carolina in 2016.

  • Trips Director – Ryan Stern is a Consultant for Progressive Capacity, where he has managed budget and operations for electoral and progressive organizations. Ryan has extensive experience in scheduling and advance for political candidates including as an Advance Lead for Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, and Tom Steyer. He has served in other campaign capacities including Senior Advisor for Cynthia Nixon for New York, Chief of Staff for Jim Johnson for Governor, Campaign Manager for a Baltimore Mayoral Race and Director of Advance for Cory Booker for Senate. He began his career on the 2008 Obama Campaign.

  • Data Director – Andy Love is a data analyst at Blue Action. He previously served as Senior Deputy Data Director for the Democratic Party of Georgia and as Deputy Data Director for the Democratic Party of Virginia. Andy has also worked at Data in Place, Carriage Services, and for the City of St. Louis and the East-West Gateway Council of Governments.

  • Voter Protection Director – Cecilia Ugarte Baldwin most recently served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Cabinet Affairs to Governor Maura T. Healey in Massachusetts, championing and executing the Governor’s agenda in her inaugural year in office. Committed to social justice, equity and civil rights, Cecilia has supported the Democratic Party’s election protection efforts since 2016, and most recently ran the voter protection program in Ohio for the 2022 midterm elections. Originally from Scottsdale, Arizona, Cecilia moved to Massachusetts to attend Boston University where she earned her B.S. from the College of Communication and subsequently earned her law degree from New England Law | Boston.

  • Deputy Director for Voter Protection – Liz Barrett has served Georgia since 2020 as a voter protection/election administration oversight advocate. In the 2022 cycle she was a Voter Protection Regional Manager for the Coordinated Campaign, and her track record includes working on behalf of the Democratic Party of Georgia and Fair Fight as an election administration oversight liaison. She has facilitated productive voter protection, election administration oversight, party introductions and relationships statewide to address voter challenges, election suppression, and extremists’ demands on our election system.

  • Press Secretary – Alice Nam most recently served as Deputy Communications Director for U.S. Senator Laphonza Butler. She previously worked as Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Marilyn Strickland and as Deputy National Press Secretary and Caucus and Surrogates Program Manager for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Alice attended Cornell University.

  • Deputy Communications Director – Marc Banks most recently served as Founder and Lead Consultant for MUSE Creative Commons. He previously worked as Deputy Communications Director for Stacy Abrams for Governor and as National Press Secretary for the NAACP. Marc also served as Senior Communications Manager for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. He has also worked in communications for the 135th Street Agency, the United States Senate, the Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement and Radio One.

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