Biden-Harris campaign hires former staffer to replicate 2020 win with Black voters

The Biden-Harris 2024 reelection campaign is turning to a former staffer from President Joe Biden’s 2020 operation to lead its efforts in shoring up the Black vote. 

Trey Baker, who served as the 2020 campaign’s national director for African-American engagement, was hired to reprise a similar role for the reelection team as a senior advisor, theGrio exclusively reports. 

“Trey was essential in leading the Black outreach efforts that took place in 2020 when Black voters sent Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House. We are thrilled that this election he will do the same,” Biden-Harris Principal Deputy Campaign Manager Quentin Fulks said in a statement to theGrio. “From the very beginning President Biden and Vice President Harris have been clear: they are not taking a single voter for granted.”

Fulks added, “Our campaign is continuing to invest more often and more aggressively than any reelection campaign in history to reach Black voters and make sure they are aware of all the promises made and kept by the President and Vice President to the Black community.”  

Baker, who also served in the Biden-Harris administration as a senior advisor to the White House Office of Public Engagement, told theGrio he was “excited” to join the 2024 campaign to “bring my experience to this campaign to make sure Joe Biden and Kamala Harris get four more years to continue delivering for our community.”

The new Biden operative said the president and vice president ran on promises made to the Black community that they have “made good on,” including: “Creating millions of new jobs for Black workers – delivering record low Black unemployment, Black small businesses are starting up at the fastest rate in generations, health care costs are low and more Black Americans are insured than ever before, not to mention billions forgiven in student-loan debt directly working to close the racial wealth gap.

Despite the achievements touted by the Biden-Harris White House, several polls indicate that some Black Americans believe the president and vice president have not lived up to their 2020 campaign promises, and fewer Black voters say they support their reelection than the 92% who voted for them. The presidential campaign of the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, has aimed to make inroads with the Black community, in hopes of narrowing President Biden’s 2020 electoral margins. 

The Biden-Harris campaign hopes that Baker can help them recreate their historic win nearly four years ago. He also becomes at least the fourth Black man to join the campaign’s senior-level staff, which includes Fulks, former U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, a senior advisor, and Michael Tyler, the campaign’s communications director.

(L-R) Cedric Richmond, senior advisor to the president and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, looks on as U.S. President Joe Biden meets with advisors, union and business leaders about infrastructure in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on July 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. The $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan could get another chance to move forward in the Senate on Monday. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“By all accounts, Trey is a talented, well-respected campaign pro and he is well-positioned to replicate the great work he did in 2020 again in 2024,” said Joel Payne, a Democratic strategist and former director of Black media engagement for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Payne told theGrio, “It’s important to bring these staff positions online as soon as possible to ramp up outreach in a timely fashion.”

He said he thought it was “encouraging” that Baker’s role before the summer. That signals the campaign “understands it still has persuasion work to do with African-American voters and that they are not treating these voters as simply a turnout universe.” 

Baker’s hire comes days after the Biden-Harris campaign announced a $14 million ad campaign including “seven figures dedicated” to Black, Latino and Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities in crucial battleground states. In March, the campaign spent $30 million for a six-week paid media campaign to “help cement the choice for general election voters” between President Biden and Trump.

Fulks, the principal deputy campaign manager, noted that in March, President Biden traveled to every battleground state to talk to voters about the “issues they care about most.” He told theGrio, “We are building on that work by devoting the month of May to reaching the very voters that will decide this election.”

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