Nevada Democrats: Former Buttigieg staffer hired by party won’t be involved in caucuses

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This combination of Jan. 26, 2020, photos shows at left, Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Jan. 26, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa; and at right Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in Sioux City, Iowa. After a daylong delay, partial results from Iowa’s Democratic caucuses showed Buttigieg and Sanders ahead of the pack.

Sun, Feb 9, 2020 (7:06 p.m.)

Emily Goldman, a former staffer on the presidential campaign of Pete Buttigieg, has been hired as the “voter protection director” for the Nevada Democratic Party, her social media indicates.

Her position will handle planning for the general election in November, the party said. She won’t have a decision-making role in the upcoming caucuses on Feb. 22. And, even if she did, party officials stress “no person involved in the caucus has the ability to affect the results.”

The party also employs those who have previously been part of presidential campaigns for Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

“No staffer working at the Nevada Democratic State Party is affiliated with any campaign, and no one person has the ability to affect results,” the party wrote in a statement. “...Everyone working at NV Dems now has the same job: executing the most transparent, accessible and expansive caucus in the country.”

Sanders’ campaign also says it’s not that big of a deal. Sanders narrowly lost in Nevada in 2016 to eventual nominee Hillary Clinton, a result some of his supporters disputed.

“We’ve spoken with the Nevada party, which has assured us that this individual does not have decision-making authority over the caucus count,” Faiz Shakir, Sanders’ campaign manager, posted on Twitter. “Please know we are working hard with the party to get every assurance that mistakes of Iowa are not repeated.”

Buttigeig and Sanders finished first and second in the Iowa caucuses, which were marred by days of delayed results and conspiratorial murmurings on Twitter. Some Sanders’ supporters, already skeptical from Iowa — and 2016 — expressed concern about the hire on social media.

Sarah Michelsen, the Nevada state director for the Sanders campaign, tweeted that she has been told Goldman would be working on more long-term projects, starting with the 2020 general election.

“I’ve spoken with the party and they have assured us that their voter protection director was hired for long-term planning, general election and beyond, not the caucus,” she tweeted. “They assure us that she does not have a decision-making role in the caucus process.”

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