Democratic Party of Georgia Announces Growing Runoff Coordinated Campaign Coalitions Staff in Expansion of Media Outreach and Voter Targeting Programs

December 10, 2020

Atlanta — Today, the Democratic Party of Georgia announced the hiring of additional staff members to lead the Runoff Coordinated Campaign’s engagement with key constituencies across the state leading up to the runoff election. New staff include four Coalitions Directors to lead mobilization efforts among ten coalition groups, headed by returning advisors Phillip Thompson and Dominick Perkins, who led in-state coalitions and political outreach on the Biden for President campaign. The new hires also include three Coalitions Media Directors to lead media engagement with African American, Latino, and Asian American and Pacific Islander press for the coordinated campaign. 

The Runoff Coordinated Campaign, in partnership with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the campaigns for Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock, has undertaken a robust effort to mobilize Georgia’s diverse electorate ahead of the January 5 runoff elections. This new staff will help direct significant investments in earned and paid media, digital outreach, and grassroots organizing.

“By investing further in the constituency-based outreach that helped win Georgia in November, this campaign is building the strongest coalitions  operation in Georgia history,” said Jeremy Halbert-Harris, Senior Political and Field Advisor to the Runoff Coordinated Campaign. “We saw record turnout among Latino, AAPI, and Black voters in the general election, and will work hand in hand with coalition leaders to build on that momentum all the way to January 5. Democrats turned Georgia turned blue in November by engaging a wide coalition of voters to make their voices heard, and those same voters will send Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock to the Senate.”

Dominick Perkins is the Political Advisor. Dominick previously served as the Political Director for the Biden campaign in Georgia. A native of Columbus, Georgia, he is a longtime aide of Congressman Sanford Bishop, serving as the senior advisor to the campaign in 2018. He was the data director for Jim Barksdale’s bid to unseat Senator Johnny Isakson in 2016 and has worked on or advised a host of other state and local races in Georgia. Dominick currently serves as the affirmative action chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia and previously served as the political director of the Young Democrats of Georgia.

Phillip Thompson is the Coalitions Advisor. In the general election, Phillip served as Georgia Coalitions Director for President-elect Joe Biden, where he led a team to help engage one of the most diverse electorates in history. Phillip is also a partner in the political research firm, The Maccabee Group, in which capacity he led research in red-to-blue wins in New Mexico, Nevada, and North Carolina in 2018. He advised seven state and local Democratic candidates to victory that same year in Arizona, California, Texas, and Hawaii as a Director of Candidate Development for the Leadership for Educational Equity. Phillip has also served as deputy executive director of the Florida Democratic Party, Florida state director for For Our Future, and campaign manager at the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Michelle Sanchez is the Latino Coalition Director. Michelle comes to the Runoff Coordinated Campaign from the Progressive Turnout Project, where she was District Operations Director in Atlanta. She previously worked as a Latinx Organizer for the New Georgia Project, and as Field Manager for Rocky Mountain Voter Outreach in Alpharetta. Michelle has also served as Executive Vice President and Latinx Caucus Vice President of Young Democrats of Georgia.

Rev. Dr. Sammie J. Dow is the African American Coalition Director. Dr. Dow is the Senior Pastor of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Marietta, Georgia. He most recently worked as the Georgia Faith and African American Vote Director for Biden for President, in which capacity he coordinated more than 70 pastors and 800 congregations across the state to implement Souls to the Polls programming and other faith-based activity to increase African American voter turnout. He has previously served as the National Director of the NAACP Youth and College Division.

Linh Nguyen is the Asian American and Pacific Islander Coalition  Director. Linh has extensive electoral campaign experience, specializing in building outreach strategies to young voters and communities of color, with a specific focus on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. She spent the 2020 presidential cycle with Sen. Cory Booker as his Director of Coalitions, and Mike Bloomberg as his Texas Deputy State Director. Before joining the Georgia Runoff Coordinated Campaign, Linh was the Political Director for #TheNew campaign, a creative collaboration between RUN AAPI and Meena Harris’s Phenomenal Woman. 

Keith Grant is the Veterans and Military Families Coalition Director. Keith is an Army veteran whose 18 years of active and reserve service includes three combat tours in Iraq. He led Veterans and Military Families engagement in Georgia for the Joe Biden campaign, as well as for the 2018 Coordinated Campaign in support of Stacey Abrams’ gubernatorial run. He also served as Communications Director for Sarah Riggs Amico’s senate campaign earlier this year.  A resident of Cherokee County, he has extensive experience in veterans services, communications, and disaster response and recovery.

Jonathan Hildner is the Youth and Students Coalition Director. Jonathan Hildner is an activist and Democratic campaign organizer with local, state, and federal election experience. He most recently served as Georgia Youth Vote Director for President-elect Joe Biden, where he helped turn out 21% of the total vote in the state. In the presidential primary, he served as a Field Organizer and Regional Organizing Director for the Biden Campaign in Iowa, Texas, South Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, and many more virtually. 

Karla Alvarado is the Latino Media Director. Karla most recently worked as a Regional Press Secretary for the Georgia recount, after serving as the Deputy Press Secretary for Hispanic Media for the Biden campaign in Florida. Previously, she served as the Hispanic Press Associate at the Florida Democratic Party, and also worked for Forward Florida Action. The daughter of two formerly undocumented Honduran-Americans, Karla hails from Chelsea, Massachusetts.

Jeremy Edwards is the African American Media Director. Jeremy comes to the Runoff Coordinated Campaign from the Biden campaign, where he served as the Georgia Press Secretary. Before his work in Georgia, Jeremy was the Director of Communications to Congressman Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.). He has a long history of public service, having begun his career at the Supreme Court of the United States before taking succeeding roles at the Department of Justice, from paralegal to press assistant to Deputy Spokesperson. 

Jen D. Rafanan is the Asian American and Pacific Islander Media Director. Jen currently serves as the Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia’s AAPI Caucus. She has been involved in Georgian Democratic politics for over a decade, having served on the board of the youth arm of the state party from 2009-2014 as Communications Director and then Executive Vice President. Since then, she has worked as an artist and small business owner, leveraging her creative and political expertise towards issues-based advocacy both in the state of Georgia and nationally.


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