The Bernie Sanders campaign saw its California state director leave the campaign just weeks before the crucial California primary.
Michael Ceraso, formerly the Sanders campaign’s California director, resigned after Ceraso spent the last few weeks pushing for more financial investment on the field in California. The upcoming California primary is absolutely crucial for the Bernie Sanders campaign, according to Politico, and Ceraso reportedly advocated for more digital organizing in the battleground state, where 475 delegates are at stake.
Bernie Sanders’ California campaign chief resigned, but the campaign itself has yet to comment on the departure. Ceraso led the effort to secure much-needed votes in California, where the Sanders campaign could turn the tide against primary opponent Hillary Clinton. The resignation comes just after the Sanders campaign laid off key campaign staff, including a large number of volunteers who had served the campaign through the early months of the primary season.
Michael Ceraso, the Sanders campaign’s California director, resigned after serving the Sanders campaign in New Hampshire as deputy state director.
Sanders' California director leaves campaign https://t.co/NMvqLkspuY
— POLITICO (@politico) May 11, 2016
According to Politico, the Sanders campaign’s strategy in California hasn’t followed in the footsteps of other successful California campaigns, eschewing television ad buys in favor of in-person appearances. Reportedly, primary states had seen much more of a media blitz by Bernie Sanders, with the Sanders campaign outspending the Clinton campaign on TV ads in other battleground states.
The Los Angeles Times is reporting this most recent departure from the Sanders campaign as a setback for Bernie’s plans to tilt the odds in his favor by winning California, scoring another upset like Michigan. The departing California campaign chief was reportedly in charge of all Bernie Sanders campaign operations in the crucial battleground state of California. His position has been taken over by Robert Becker, who served the Sanders camp in Iowa as state director.
“Becker is one of the most seasoned and savvy people working on our campaign,” wrote Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs in an email to the Los Angeles Times.
The latest high-profile departure from the Sanders campaign comes amid a significant downturn in fundraising for Bernie Sanders, reports the Los Angeles Times. Sanders continues to draw large numbers, however, staging several campaign appearances in California to jam-packed audiences.
Bernie Sanders loses his California director https://t.co/UNHWkAhUuU
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) May 11, 2016
To date, Bernie Sanders has won 19 states to Clinton’s 23, and despite skepticism from within his own party, Sanders vows to continue the race all the way to the Democratic convention this summer. At a campaign stop in Eugene, Oregon, Bernie Sanders told a packed rally of supporters that he was still in the race, adding that he was in it to win and not just to influence the Democratic platform at the convention, reports Fox News.
“We now have won primaries and caucuses in 19 states. Let me be as clear as I can be. We are in this campaign to win the Democratic nomination,” said Bernie Sanders at a campaign stop in Oregon.
After a resounding victory in West Virginia last night, Bernie Sanders looks ahead to the Democratic convention with renewed vigor. However, the departure of Michael Ceraso, the Sanders campaign’s California chief, could be a serious setback for the Vermont senator’s chances in California, a state where he trails Hillary Clinton in the polls.
In order to move forward in California, Bernie Sanders is reportedly pushing for another Democratic debate ahead of the crucial California primary. According to Sanders, the two campaigns had agreed that debates would continue into June of this year.
“I hope we can soon settle on a date and place for that debate,” said Sanders in an email to the Los Angeles Times.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]