Politics

Bloomberg’s Ohio Team Includes Local Activist

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – With the state’s March 17 primary more than a month away and early voting starting Feb. 19, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign Tuesday announced the leadership of its Ohio operation.  

Heading up that operation will be Aaron Pickrell, a longtime Democratic adviser and strategist with 25 years of national campaign experience, as Ohio state director for the campaign. The campaign also named local activist Jaladah Aslam as a regional organizing director.

Pickrell managed Ted Strickland’s successful 2006 campaign for governor and his unsuccessful reelection bid four years later, served as state director for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and as senior adviser to his 2012 campaign. He also worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Ohio campaign. 

The Bloomberg campaign has 91 staff in Ohio and is opening a dozen offices across the state, according to a news release from the campaign, including one in Youngstown at 237 E. Front St. downtown. The campaign will officially open the office at 4 p.m. Thursday.

Since launching the campaign in November, the Bloomberg campaign has brought on more than 1,000 staff in key states for the general election.

“The stakes in an election have never been higher. We need to nominate the Democrat who is best positioned to defeat Donald Trump, and Mike Bloomberg is the candidate who can get it done,” Pickrell said in a statement. 

Jaladah Aslam

Across the state, Bloomberg’s organizers are engaging with voters about Bloomberg’s “track record of taking on tough fights and delivering tangible results,” including his role in job creation as mayor New York and leading national efforts to combat gun violence, he said.

Aslam is a retired staff representative with Ohio Chapter 8 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, president of the Youngstown Warren Black Caucus, and sergeant of arms of the Mahoning-Trumbull AFL-CIO. She has worked on numerous campaigns over the last 25 years including presidential, gubernatorial, issue and municipal races, according to the Bloomberg campaign. She is a former executive board member of the Ohio Democratic Party and has served as a delegate to the last three Democratic National Committee conventions.

“Our team is mostly made up of Ohio natives, who have unmatched experience in this state and in many of the communities we’re organizing in,” Pickrell said. “With only six weeks to go until the Ohio primary, we’ve built an incredible operation with a staff that knows this state better than anyone else and is focused on delivering a victory for Democrats in November.” 

The Trump campaign, in a news release, downplayed the former New York mayor’s efforts in Ohio. The “millions of dollars” that Bloomberg is “lighting on fire” and the perks he reportedly is offering to attract staff “won’t be enough to match the years of hard work and overwhelming success by Ohio Republicans,” Trump spokesman Dan Lusheck said.

“Bloomberg remains a coastal elitist who is out-of-touch with the heartland, and Ohioans will never approve of his nanny state regulations and radical job-killing environmental policies.”

Pictured: Mike Bloomberg (Image: Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America [CC BY-SA])

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.