A member of Gov. Phil Murphy’s political team will serve as state director of Joe Biden’s presidential campaign in New Jersey.
Nabila Baptiste will take a leave from her post as deputy executive director of the Democratic State Committee to join the Biden campaign.
She joined the state party in 2018 as the number two working for Elizabeth Gilbert, remained there when Kevin Olasanoye became executive director, and now works for Saily Avelenda.
Baptiste will head up an organization aimed at mobilizing and engaging voters and volunteers in New Jersey, the Biden campaign said.
Before joining the state party, Baptiste was the event management director for the Ludlam Group and managed a municipal race in Warren Township.
New Jersey’s 14 electoral votes are widely considered a lock for Biden in his bid to unseat President Donald Trump.
While New Jersey has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988, the state director post for a Democratic nominee has remained a highly desirable position.
Jennifer Holdsworth had the job for Hillary Clinton in 2016; she went on to hold a senior role in Pete Buttigieg’s recent presidential campaign, worked a MWW,and now runs JC Strategies, her own political and communications firm in Washington. The 2012 Obama state director, Geoffrey Borshof, now heads his own media communications firm.
One well-known insider, Tricia Mueller, the longtime political strategist for the Carpenter’s Union, was Barack Obama’s state director in 2008.
In 2004, Patti McGuire and A.J. Sabath were co-state directors for John Kerry. McGuire had been a presence in New Jersey politics for decades and Sabath, an aide to Senate President Richard Codey, later became New Jersey Commissioner of Labor.