May 24, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Women hold most senior positions for 2020 Democratic campaigns

This image is a two-way split screen between Kamala Harris and Julian Castro.

Kamala Harris and Julián Castro are the only two top candidates with more people of color in senior staff positions than white people. Photos: Spencer Platt/Getty Images; Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Women hold the majority of senior positions for top 2020 Democratic campaigns — and a quarter of those aides identify as women of color, according to a new analysis by the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: The behind-the-scenes makeup of the 2020 campaign — which already features the most diverse field of candidates in history — reflects a broader national trend: minorities will become the majority in the U.S. by 2045.


  • Sen. Kamala Harris and former HUD Secretary Julián Castro both have more people of color in senior staff positions than white people.
  • Castro and Sen. Bernie Sanders have hired the most women in senior staff positions.
  • It's not just Democrats. President Trump's re-election campaign has more women in senior staff positions than men.

The big picture: The efforts for candidates to build out diverse campaign staffs highlight their recognition that America's demography is similarly shifting.

  • Sanders' campaign manager Faiz Shakir, the first Muslim to head a presidential bid, told the WSJ that the Vermont senator said he wanted "a team that looks like America."
  • Sanders admitted earlier this year that his 2016 campaign staff was "too white" and "too male."

What they're saying: "It’s a competitive advantage as long we continue to maximize it. ... It’s just making sure that those voices are at the decision-making table and included in our thinking," Laphonza Butler, a senior Harris adviser and an African-American woman, told the WSJ.

Go deeper: 2020 Dems could end up with another white guy

Go deeper