Kamala Harris Laying Off Staff in Latest Campaign Shake-Up

Kamala Harris / Getty Images
October 30, 2019

Kamala Harris's presidential campaign is laying off dozens of staffers and giving top officials pay cuts as it struggles to "effectively compete" with the frontrunners, according to a Wednesday campaign memo.

The memo, first reported by Politico, reveals major changes, including mass layoffs, pay cuts, and a redeployment of field staffers in key primary states around the country to Iowa, where the campaign is going "all-in."

"In a field of 18 candidates, we face an incredibly competitive resource environment," the memo from campaign manager Juan Rodriguez says. "To effectively compete with the top campaigns and make the necessary investments in the critical final 100 days to the caucus, we need to reduce expenditures elsewhere and realign resources."

Rodriguez said he, along with all campaign consultants, will take pay cuts, and the campaign will "trim and renegotiate contracts." Additionally, staff currently deployed in New Hampshire, Nevada, and Harris's home state of California will be redeployed to Iowa.

The campaign's most recent filing revealed it spent about $3 million more than it raised last quarter. Meanwhile, Harris has continued to fall in the polls since her brief surge earlier this year.

The memo says "no candidate spent more time in Iowa" this past month than Harris did. Polls in the state, however, show the increased attention has not translated into increased support.

The current RealClearPolitics polling average from Iowa has Harris behind primary frontrunners Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and Bernie Sanders, and deadlocked with Pete Buttigieg, Senator Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Tom Steyer, and Andrew Yang.

In one October Iowa poll from Emerson, Harris found herself in 10th place behind even Montana governor Steve Bullock, who failed to qualify for either of the last two primary debates.

The Harris campaign has not yet announced who has been laid off. Campaign press secretary Ian Sams did not respond to a request for additional details on the reorganization.