Andrew Yang’s campaign has laid off dozens of staffers after the presidential candidate’s poor performance in the Iowa caucuses.
With 100% of precincts reporting, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Bernie Sanders are locked in a virtual tie in the results, while Andrew Yang landed at 6th place with just 1% of the state delegates support.
Those who were let go told Politico that senior-level posts in the campaign, such as the national political and policy directors, were included in the layoffs. The dismissed individuals were reportedly from different branches of the operation, including the New York office and the recently closed Iowa base.
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The former staffers, who were given at least one-month severance, lamented that they were blindsided by the sudden termination as they were not notified beforehand.
“Some people found out through gossip or back channels, and things weren’t timed particularly well,” a former campaign employee said. “Some people were shut out of their email, before getting an official phone call [from the campaign] or anything like that. So definitely not the most organized.”
In response to the issue, Yang’s campaign stated that there were already plans to reduce their staff members after the Iowa caucuses.
While no exact figures of those who were laid off have been confirmed, some staffers claimed it was in “the dozens.” Sy Lee, the national press secretary, did not respond to requests to verify the number of staff and instead sent a generic comment from campaign manager Zach Graumann.
“As part of our original plans following the Iowa caucuses, we are winding down our Iowa operations and restructuring to compete as the New Hampshire primary approaches.
“Andrew Yang is going to keep fighting for the voices of the more than 400,000 supporters who have donated to the campaign and placed a stake in the future of our country.”
Meanwhile, Lee told Politico that despite their titles, the directors who were let go were tasked to do research and write first drafts and not technically “senior” staffers.
“Titles mean different things in different organizations,” Lee said.
Despite being abruptly let go, the former staffers Politico interviewed all said they still believe in Yang and would still want to work with him again in the future. Some even stated that they didn’t want the issue to affect his candidacy.
“I really don’t want to paint this situation over him or the campaign in any negative way. I, wholistically had a fantastic experience,” a former staffer said. “Andrew, taking it this far and continuing as far as he can, is incredibly inspiring to me.”
Andrew Yang will be among the seven candidates participating in the Democratic presidential debate in Manchester, N.H. tonight at 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. EST. This will be the last debate before the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday.
Feature Image via @andrewyang2020