Sanders expands operation in Michigan 3 weeks before primary

Elections
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders I-Vt., speaks at a campaign event in Tacoma, Wash., Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders I-Vt., speaks at a campaign event in Tacoma, Wash., Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont announced Tuesday that his presidential campaign is expanding operations in Michigan, three weeks before the state’s Democratic primary.

Sanders, who narrowly won Michigan over Hillary Clinton in 2016, announced the hiring of nine additional staff and the opening of four offices. The offices will be opened in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor and Flint between Wednesday and Friday.

The campaign has had a Michigan field director, Alia Phillips, since Jan. 2. It said Wednesday that Michael Fasullo, who worked on Sanders’ campaign in Iowa, will serve as state coordinator.

Fasullo said Sanders is “the only candidate with the energy and enthusiasm to flip this state back and defeat Donald Trump” with a growing “multi-ethnic, multi-generational, people-powered movement.”

Trump was the first Republican presidential nominee to win Michigan in 28 years.

Sanders’ announcement came as billionaire Mike Bloomberg focuses on Michigan and other states after skipping the first voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. Bloomberg has spent at least $8.6 million on TV ads in Michigan, according to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, and has nearly nearly 100 staff and eight offices in the state.

Bloomberg planned to open a ninth office, in Lansing, later Tuesday.

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