Democratic presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley is expanding his campaign in South Carolina.
Tyler Jones, who worked closely with the state’s Democratic legislators for several years and was a S.C. regional field director for John Edwards’ 2008 presidential campaign, is joining O’Malley’s campaign as state director.
Jones is the campaign’s first full-time hire in the state, where the former Maryland governor trails Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in the polls.
A former supporter of Vice President Joe Biden as a potential Democratic presidential nominee, Jones said he has always admired O’Malley and got behind him “100 percent” after the vice president decided not to run.
Jones said O’Malley “represents the new generation of progressive leaders that the Democratic Party and our nation desperately need. He hasn't just talked about the critical issues facing the country, he's delivered on them in his state. ... He's not driven by polls, he's driven by principle. And that may be to his political detriment but it means he's a man of character and integrity and that's what our country needs most.”
Jones, 30, is the senior adviser and spokesman for House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford, D-Richland, and the S.C. House Democratic Caucus, where he has worked since 2009.
He will remain in those roles.
He also was spokesman for state Rep. Leon Stavrinakis, when the lawmaker ran for Charleston mayor this year, and has been an officer in the state Democratic Party.