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Scoop: Buttigieg hires McAuliffe adviser Michael Halle to senior staff

Pete Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has hired Michael Halle — a close adviser to former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe who most recently ran Richard Cordray's failed 2018 campaign for Ohio governor — as a senior strategist, the Buttigieg campaign confirmed to Axios. It is unclear when his official start date is.

Why it matters: Halle, who also ran Hillary Clinton’s 2016 battleground-state strategy, has impeccable connections to the Democratic establishment and extensive experience working on major campaigns. His hire is the latest in a steady drumbeat of big names that Buttigieg has brought on, with the campaign telling Axios to expect other personnel announcements in the coming days.

  • Jess O'Connell, former CEO of the Democratic National Committee who also served as executive director of EMILY’s List and had a senior role in Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, recently announced that she has also joined the campaign as a senior adviser.
  • Halle did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Background: Halle served as deputy field director to Barack Obama for his 2008 campaign, and later as general election director for Obama's 2012 re-election campaign.

  • He also worked as campaign manager for former Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx's re-election campaign (Foxx was later nominated and confirmed as secretary of transportation under Obama).
  • He later served as the coordinated campaign director for McAuliffe, as well as McAuliffe's political action committee, Common Good VA.
  • He then joined Clinton's 2016 presidential election campaign in a senior role, before being hired as Cordray's campaign manager in 2018.