BY Alex Samuels
Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg has sharply ramped up his campaign in Texas, hiring 37 people with plans to have about 150 staffers by the end of the month.
On Tuesday, his campaign also named three deputy state directors, Terry Bermea, currently the organizing director for Battleground Texas, El Paso City Rep. Peter Svarzbein and former Texas Senate candidate Kendall Scudder.
The numbers give Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, by far the biggest formal operation in Texas ahead of the state’s delegate-rich primary on Super Tuesday, March 3. The campaign initially made its ambitious plans known late last month when it named its first four hires here, including a state director, and announced it intended to open 17 offices before the primary.
On Tuesday, the campaign said it would open offices in Dallas, Austin, Houston, El Paso and San Antonio by the end of the month.
Bloomberg is effectively skipping the first few early voting states and beginning to compete on Super Tuesday.
“In seven short weeks, Mike’s campaign now has over 700 staff on the ground in every Super Tuesday state and even some territories, like the Virgin Islands,” said Bloomberg’s state director, Dan Kanninen.
“Our campaign is building the most robust national organization and infrastructure to beat Donald Trump, where we will compete everywhere and take our case directly to voters across the country with person-to-person conversations.”
The only other Democrat to hire staffers based throughout the state and to open various field offices in Texas is U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Both Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden also have Texas state directors.
Warren’s team has said they’re up to “over two dozen full-time senior staffers and organizers,” while Biden’s team has not announced any Texas hires beyond a state director. Still, Biden has topped most polls. One Texas survey since Bloomberg’s launch, released Dec. 11 by CNN, found Bloomberg at 5% — good enough for fifth place in but still far behind Biden, who placed first with 35%.
Bloomberg’s campaign said the team is poised to continue growing and is “hiring daily.” He had a day-long swing through Texas last weekend where he visited San Antonio, Austin, Waco and Dallas.
Patrick Svitek contributed to this report.