WASHINGTON — With fewer than 50 days until the Nov. 3 election, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's campaign on Wednesday announced the hiring of a state director and a senior advisor for Washington.
Biden's new state director is Alysia Peters, who previously served as a regional political director for the campaign covering Western states, according to a campaign announcement. A Nevada native, Peters joined Biden's primary campaign as northern Nevada director in August 2019 ahead of that state's crucial caucus, in which Biden's second-place finish in February buoyed the campaign after subpar results in Iowa and New Hampshire.
After the Nevada caucus, Peters served as the Biden campaign's state director for Ohio until the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. In an unusual campaign year in which Democrats have embraced virtual outreach and fundraising in lieu of in-person events, she worked in a remote role until taking the position in Washington.
Former state Rep. Kristine Reeves, who represented Federal Way as a Democrat from 2017 to 2019, will serve as the campaign's senior advisor in the state. A Moses Lake native and graduate of Washington State University and Gonzaga, she was the first Black woman elected to the state House in 18 years.
A former aide to Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Reeves resigned from the state Legislature in December 2019 to join a crowded race to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Denny Heck in the state's 10th Congressional District. She pitched herself as "not a typical" candidate who went through homelessness and foster care as a child, but fell short of the top-two finish in the Aug. 4 primary needed to advance to the general election.
The former vice president and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, are likely to fare well in Washington, where Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton took 54% of the vote to now-President Donald Trump's 38% in 2016. President Barack Obama, with Biden as his running mate, won the state with nearly 56% of the vote in 2012.
The Biden-Harris campaign has not hired a state director for Idaho, which is an equally safe bet for Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. In 2016, the Trump-Pence ticket took over 59% of the votes in Idaho with Clinton winning just 27.5%.
Because the winner of November's presidential race will be decided by the Electoral College, Northwest voters are unlikely to tip the balance in favor of either ticket. The election's outcome will come down to the results in a handful of "swing states" -- including Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin -- where both campaigns are focusing their resources.