Briefings: The Congressional Shuffle Comes to Western Mass…
UPDATED 1/14/15 12:38AM: To reflect additional staff changes involving another former Western Mass Warren campaign staffer.
United States Senator Elizabeth Warren was not on the ballot last year, but that has not spared her office some of the shifting and transfers that normally come when each Congress is gaveled into session. In particular her state office’s Western Massachusetts outpost experienced changes in the new year after a fairly consistent first two years.
Jeremiah Thompson, Warren’s Western Mass Regional Director working out of her Springfield office, has been reassigned to overseeing Central Massachusetts. In his place, staff assistant Everett Handford has been elevated to Regional Director for the state’s four western counties. Jonathan D’Angelo, who served as Martha Coakley’s Regional Field Director in Western Massachusetts, has been hired as the new Springfield staff assistant. A spokesperson for Warren confirmed the changes.
The changes are not related to any broader shakeups within Warren’s office, but rather reflect some necessary shuffling to fill vacancies that had popped up over the course of last year. Amid the political hiring for the 2014 campaign season, the Central Massachusetts director’s position had been vacated with Thompson also briefly covering Worcester County on an interim basis.
Formerly of Easthampton and a 2010 graduate of UMass-Amherst, Thompson* served as Warren’s Regional Field Director for Western Massachusetts in the 2012 US Senate race. His new post is based out of the Boston office near Government Center.
Handford* served as a field organizer in 2012 in the Springfield area. A native of Wilbraham, he will now be running Warren’s office at 1550 Main Street, the former federal building in Springfield. He graduated from Johnson & Wales University in 2011.
D’Angelo,* of Ludlow, was among Coakley’s earliest Western Massachusetts hires as the gubernatorial campaign kicked into high gear. He was brought on board before last June’s Democratic convention in Worcester. A graduate of Springfield College, D’Angelo previously served as an intern for Warren’s 2012 bid and for US Rep Richard Neal’s 2012 successful primary campaign.
Ariel Vega, a staffer in Boston and another alum of the 2012 campaign in Western Mass, also received a promotion to regional director director for the North Shore.
Western Massachusetts has become increasingly critical to Democratic success in statewide elections. Though constituting a relatively small portion of the overall electorate, turnout in Berkshire, Franklin and Hampshire counties as well as Hampden County’s cities were decisive for Warren and, though unsuccessful, contributed to Coakley making the 2014 gubernatorial race the closest in five decades.
*Western Mass Politics & Insight Editor-in-Chief Matt Szafranski volunteered for the Warren in 2012 and for Coakley following the 2014 primary working with all of the above individuals.