Jamal Simmons, the director of communications for vice president Kamala Harris, is leaving his position as Harris continues to fire employees.
According to a report by Breitbart News, Simmons expects to depart at the start of the new year. Simmons joined Harris's staff in January to assist her in improving her public image following a challenging first year as vice president.
Simmons was hired by Harris' chief of staff Lorraine Voles to "steady the ship" of the vice president's office, and he agreed to hold the position for a year, she told staff in an email announcing Simmons' departure, the report states.
High staff turnover continues to be an issue for the vice president's office, particularly in the communications division.
In December 2021, the roles of communications director Ashley Etienne, press secretary Symone Sanders, press operations director Peter Velz, and deputy director of public engagement Vincent Evans were all vacant. Sabrina Singh, the deputy press secretary, left in March.
Tina Flournoy, Harris' chief of staff, also quit in March. After her first two speechwriters left last year, the vice president recently hired a third one.
After Democrats performed better than anticipated in the congressional midterm elections, talk of Harris possibly running for president in 2024 has subsided. This expectation arose if President Joe Biden declined the opportunity.
Biden continues to insist that he will decide in the new year whether or not to run for reelection in 2024: "I believe I can beat Donald Trump again," he said in October.
Democrats appear to be priming the political landscape for Biden, with leaders in the party voting Friday to adopt the transformative early 2024 presidential nominating schedule proposed by President Biden, giving South Carolina the leadoff position. That would be followed by a joint primary day for New Hampshire and Nevada, and then later primaries by Georgia and Michigan, according to a report by MSN.
The selected states had until January 5 to prove they could hold their primary elections on the scheduled dates, failing which they would lose their spots in the calendar.
The new calendar breaks with decades of custom in which the first two slots for both the Democratic and Republican primary contests were held by Iowa and New Hampshire. The new primary schedule, according to Biden, will more accurately reflect the diversity of the Democratic Party's ethnic, economic, and geographic makeup.
South Carolina native and Democratic chairman Jaime Harrison, who was notified of the outcome Thursday night, responded visibly to the vote placing his state first, describing it as a means to pay tribute to non-White, uneducated, and underprivileged people like his grandparents.
"These people have often been forgotten, many times voiceless and voteless," he said. "The Democratic Party is the party of hope. This is the leadership that we have seen every minute of the Joe Biden presidency."
The simultaneous primary day in New Hampshire and Nevada would take place on February 6, 2024, three days after South Carolina's vote on February 3, 2024, according to the regulations that were established. Feb. 13 would be the Georgia primary, and Feb. 27 would be the Michigan primary. Between March 5 and June 4, the remainder of the nation would be free to choose its own primary dates.