Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-V.T., has his eyes on the White House in 2020.
Instead riding to the top of the polls like in 2016, though, this 2020 Sanders presidential campaign looks like a sinking ship — and former aides are already jumping overboard.
Three strategists who played key roles in Sanders’ 2016 run said Tuesday they will not join his 2020 White House bid, in the latest sign of how the campaign may look different this time around.
Tad Devine, Julian Mulvey and Mark Longabaugh said they would not work for Sanders’ 2020 campaign. Their firm was behind Sanders’ 2016 media strategy, including a 60-second television spot titled “America” that included the Simon and Garfunkel song by that name.
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“We are leaving because we believe that Sen. Sanders deserves to have media consultants who share his creative vision for the campaign,” Devine, Longabaugh and Mulvey said in a statement.
While his 2016 campaign stunned the Democratic establishment with its insurgent energy, it was ultimately derailed by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Trying to get back on track has been difficult. Sanders’ staff has been plagued by sexual assault and misconduct allegations.
His previous campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, has been criticized for not responding sufficiently to these allegations on the 2016 campaign. He remains a senior adviser to the 2020 operation.
Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir said in a statement “the campaign appreciates all the good work DML has done and wishes them well.”
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Sanders remains among the most well-known Democrats in a crowded field. He has already showcased his impressive fundraising prowess, outpacing his rivals by raising $10 million in the first week.
Sanders will hold a pair of rallies this weekend to formally launch his campaign.
The Associated Press contributed to this article