The Draft Biden booth at Saturday's NHDP convention in Manchester

Sep 23, 2015 1:55 PM

Steinhauser-First on NH1 News: Draft Biden expands NH operations

NH1 Political Director -

CONCORD -- The Draft Biden super PAC is expanding operations in New Hampshire.

NH1 News learned Wednesday that the group, which devoted to laying the groundwork should Vice President Joe Biden decide to run for president, made three hires in the first-in-the-nation primary state.

Draft Biden is bringing Tom Maher on board as the New Hampshire Outreach Director, with Mike Bland serving as the Regional Field Director for the First Congressional District, and Carly Steffes joining as the Regional Field Director for the Second Congressional District.

Maher, a New Hampshire native and veteran political operative, served as a staffer for then-Sen. Biden of Delaware. Bland was a political director for Rep. Elizabeth Esty of Connecticut and was a campaign manager for Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra. Steffes worked for Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida.

“I welcome Carly, Mike and Tom to the Draft Biden Team. Their presence builds on the growing momentum the Draft Biden movement is experiencing every day in New Hampshire,” said Draft Biden New Hampshire State Director Dan Eaton, in a statement obtained by NH1 News.

Watch: Biden narrows gap with Clinton in new poll

NH1 News was first to report earlier this month that Eaton, a longtime Biden backer and a state representative, was coming on board as state director of Draft Biden. Eaton, who represents Stoddard, was a Granite State co-chair for Biden’s 2008 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Draft Biden, a mostly modest organization at its launch, got an infusion this summer when Josh Alcorn, a top adviser and confidant to the vice president’s late son Beau, joined the group. NH1 News was one of the first organizations to report Alcorn’s hiring.

The vice president is seriously weighing a third bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. While beloved by many in the Democratic party, Biden would face challenging odds against Clinton, the front-runner for the party’s 2016 nomination. Biden would find himself behind both Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the Democratic presidential candidate who’s energized many in the party’s liberal base and who tops the public opinion polls in New Hampshire, when it comes to both fundraising and organization.

A new Bloomberg Politics national poll released Wednesday indicated Biden at 25% support among registered Democrats and leaners to the party, with Clinton at 33% and Sanders at 24%.

But a CNN/ORC survey released Monday put Biden at 22%, trailing both Clinton at 42% and Sanders at 24%.


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