Right after Thanksgiving, I was at the Township watching my twin granddaughters dance in “The Nutcracker” (and they were awesome!). During intermission, I saw Kendall Corley sitting several rows ahead of me and went down to chat with him.
Kendall was our political director during the Smith/Norrell campaign in 2018. More relevantly to this post, he was the man who saved America (OK, Jim Clyburn helped) by directing the campaign that won the South Carolina primary for Joe Biden.
I asked whether he was involved this year — now that America needs saving again, and from the same threat — and he said no. But he said the state team would be announced soon, and “some people you know” will be running the Biden campaign here.
That Kendall Corley knows what he’s talking about.
Two weeks ago (sorry to take so long to get to it), the campaign put out this release:
Biden-Harris 2024 Campaign Announces Key South Carolina Staff Hires
Today, the Biden-Harris 2024 campaign announced the hiring of the following key staffers to serve as the South Carolina state leadership team for the historic first in the nation presidential primary:
- Scott Harriford, South Carolina State Director
- Clay Middleton, South Carolina Senior Advisor
- Jalisa Washington Price, South Carolina Senior Advisor
- Brady Quirk-Garvan, South Carolina Advisor
Biden-Harris 2024 Campaign National Co-Chair Congressman James Clyburn issued the following statement:
“South Carolina Democrats have been the best preparers of our party’s nominees for decades and we are thrilled to have been given the opportunity to continue playing this historic role in nominating Joe Biden for reelection next year. Every candidate who has won the South Carolina primary in recent years has gone on to be our nominee and get the majority of the popular vote in the general election, and no one knows that better than President Biden. This seasoned, skillful South Carolina team will lead the Biden-Harris coalition to victory in South Carolina and the nation in 2024.”
At President Biden’s recommendation, the Democratic National Committee voted earlier this year to put South Carolina first on the Democrats’ 2024 calendar, followed by New Hampshire, Nevada, and Michigan. The Biden-Harris 2024 campaign’s leadership in the state will be focused on reaching out to voters and organizing in key communities ahead of South Carolina’s historic Democratic presidential primary on Feb. 3, 2024.
South Carolina State Leadership:
Scott Harriford, South Carolina State Director
Scott Harriford is a Principal at Hilltop Public Solutions. Most recently Scott was a political appointee at the Small Business Administration and served as the White House liaison. Scott worked on the 2020 Biden campaign as the South Carolina Political Director, and after the primary election he became the Southeastern. Political Director for the Biden-Harris campaign. In his role he helped the campaign develop and implement a regional political strategy. He was also responsible for community outreach, strategic planning, and political organization. Before joining the Biden campaign, Scott worked in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District as a Senior Field Director for Congressman Joe Cunningham. Previously, he worked on Representative James Smith and Mandy Powers Norrell’s campaign for Governor-Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina as the Deputy Political Director. Scott graduated from the University of South Carolina where he had the opportunity to start a small business that focused on hydroponic farm development and consulting.
Clay Middleton, South Carolina Senior Advisor
Clay comes to the campaign after previously serving as Senior Advisor to Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. During the 2020 cycle, Clay worked as House Legislative Advisor for the Biden-Harris Transition team. He was also Senior Advisor to Senator Cory Booker’s presidential campaign. A former Director of Business Services in the City of Charleston, Clay served as Regional Political Director and South Carolina State Director for the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. A long-time staffer for Representative Jim Clyburn, Clay also worked on the 2008 Obama presidential campaign as South Carolina Political Director. Clay is a graduate of The Citadel and is a Lieutenant Colonel in the South Carolina Army National Guard serving as a Battalion Commander.
Jalisa Washington Price, South Carolina Senior Advisor
Before joining the campaign, Jalisa was the Political and Advocacy Vice President at iHeartMedia. She also worked on the 2020 Biden-Harris presidential campaign, serving as Senior Political Advisor to then-vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris. After the election, Jalisa was the Director of the Office of the Vice President-elect for the Presidential Inaugural Committee. Jalisa has also held senior leadership positions at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, advised on several congressional and statewide campaigns, and she worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. A native of South Carolina, Jalisa graduated from the University of South Carolina. She was named to Fortune Magazine’s 40 under 40 list in Government and Politics.
Brady Quirk-Garvan, South Carolina Advisor
Brady Quirk-Garvan has been working in South Carolina politics for almost 20 years, where he has worked on and supported races across the state from city council to the Presidential level. Upon graduating from the College of Charleston, Brady went to work for President Obama’s campaign in the swing state of Ohio in 2008 before returning back to South Carolina. He served as the Chairman of the Charleston County Democratic Party for five years during which time they flipped six seats from Republican to Democrat. Brady has served as a delegate representing South Carolina for the last three Democratic National Conventions and was named “Democrat of the Year” by the South Carolina Democratic Party in 2015.
This is great news, because Scott’s in charge! Scott was the state political director under Kendall in 2020. But I know him better than the others because of the roles he had in James Smith’s campaign, which is where he started his meteoric rise in the politics biz.
As the bio above notes, he was the deputy field director (working under Kendall) in that campaign. That shows how quickly his talents were recognized. His original title was “body man” — you know, like Charlie Young on “The West Wing.”
He was the very first staffer James hired, fairly early in 2017, well before he had even launched the campaign. I met him one morning at the old (now closed) Lizard’s Thicket on Beltline, where I was having breakfast with James. The purpose of our meeting was for me to tell James that when he started building his staff, I wanted him to think about whether there was any way I could be a part of it. The answer, which was yes, came much later. (This was late summer or early fall of 2017, I would not join until the following July.) But James had been told a body man — mainly, a driver — had to come first. And he was right. And he and Scott were already out on the road.
Scott put in more hours, and far more miles, than anyone else on the campaign besides James himself. I need to ask him how many miles he drove, if he knows; it must be a stupendous figure. But he did more than that, involving himself in every aspect of the campaign, which I assume is how he ended up as Kendall’s deputy.
He was certainly essential to me. The other Scott on the campaign — our manager, Hogan (seen standing at the center with me behind Biden below) told me once that there should be five people doing my job handling communications, but we didn’t have the money. So I was tied up in the office most of the time, and relied on the pictures Scott Harriford texted to me to illustrate the social posts I was pumping out most of the time. He also handled Facebook Live videos out on the scene.
Occasionally I got out with him and James. In early October, I caught a ride with them up to my hometown, Bennettsville. It took us a while to get up there, because whenever Scott saw a good spot for signs, he would stop, and he and I would get out and put them up (something I’d never done before that day; Scott was giving me basic training).
At all times, Scott did whatever was needed. That, among many other considerations, makes me very happy he’s running the show here in South Carolina. America needs Joe to win re-election, to put it very mildly, and this is where it all starts…