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“Who’s Joining Dean Phillips’ 2020 Team? Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang Insiders Going Local!

Dean Phillips, a U.S Representative from Minnesota’s 3rd district, recently made headlines when he announced the hiring of top political strategists in his congressional re-election campaign. The team includes former Adviser to Bernie Sanders Tezlyn Figaro, and Adviser to both Bernie Sanders’ and Andrew Yang’s Presidential campaigns, Garnet Exum. In the age of polarization and an increasingly grim political outlook, politicians like Dean Phillips symbolize the potential for bipartisan progress. During his first term in office, Phillips “sought to stand out as a leader dedicated to progressive values and building bridges across the aisle”. According to Phillips, “In Congress, I’m pushing for bold action on behalf of working people, investments in climate change prevention, and a way forward on comprehensive immigration reform.” The hiring of each strategist speaks to Phillips’ commitment to progressivism. Tezlyn Figaro is a political powerhouse, having founded her own consulting firm PIVOT. According to Figaro, “It’s a unique know-how in campaign development utilizing data insights, digital and direct mail offerings that bridge the gap between our communities, brands, and elected officials.” Garnet Exum, who was also the senior strategist for gripping Ava DuVernay’s documentary 13th, is equally as noteworthy. In addition to his experience on Bernie Sanders’ and Andrew Yang’s presidential campaigns, Exum “specializes in developing effective political and communication strategies for progressive causes” and cultivated a formidable grassroots network during the 2018 midterms. Dean Phillips’ strategy centrist strategy combined with progressive values is refreshing. It is clear Phillips believes in the values of the Democratic party while still respecting a need for bipartisanship- the need to bridge the gap between both party’s needs and wants. As he sets out to retain his congressional seat, much of the campaign’s success will depend on the caliber of the strategists hired. The team Phillips has put together is sure to provide a distinct advantage in his race for re-election.