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Harris Campaign Makes Some 'Tough Choices'

Staffers are being laid off or shifted to Iowa
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2019 12:10 AM CDT
Kamala Harris participated in a forum by formerly incarcerated leaders at historic Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pa., on Monday, Oct. 28, 2019   (Miguel Martinez/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)
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(Newser) – Sen. Kamala Harris says she fully intends to win the Democratic nomination—but she is competing against rivals with a lot more money. According to a campaign memo seen by Politico Wednesday, the senator from California is laying off dozens of aides at her Baltimore headquarters, shifting other staffers to Iowa before its first-in-the-nation caucuses, and taking other steps to reduce her overhead. In the memo, campaign manager Juan Rodriguez says his own salary is being cut amid an "incredibly competitive resource environment." After a strong start last year, Harris has been struggling to raise funds and has also been falling in the polls: Most national polls put her in fifth place at around 5%, according to FiveThirtyEight.

In the memo, Rodriguez says the candidate has had to make some "difficult strategic decisions." "Plenty of winning primary campaigns, like John Kerry's in 2004 and John McCain’s in 2008, have had to make tough choices on their way to the nomination, and this is no different," he writes. Harris already has more than 130 staffers in Iowa, the Des Moines Register reports. She spent 15 days in October in the state and plans to spend Thanksgiving there. "I fully intend to win," she told reporters in Newton, Iowa, Wednesday night. "It is not going to be easy—I knew that from day one, and I made that very clear from day one." Her campaign says she is aiming for a top-three finish in the Feb. 3 caucuses. (Read more Kamala Harris 2020 stories.)

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