Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., speaks during the Climate Forum at Georgetown University, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Booker loses organizing chief in key state of South Carolina

September 25, 2019 - 12:31 pm

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Democratic presidential hopeful Cory Booker is losing a key staff asset in the critical early-voting state of South Carolina.

The New Jersey Democrat's campaign confirms to The Associated Press Wednesday the departure of Matt Handsfield as South Carolina organizing director. Handsfield, who didn't immediately return messages, told The Post & Courier of Charleston he was quitting the campaign for undisclosed personal reasons.

While campaign officials say the move had been expected, it comes just days after Booker's campaign manager warned supporters that, without a fundraising boost to end September, the Democrat's campaign does "not see a legitimate long-term path forward."

In a memo made public Saturday, campaign manager Addisu Demissie said Booker needs to raise an additional $1.7 million by Sept. 30 to remain competitive in the crowded Democratic field.