COLUMBIA — State Rep. James Smith has added a veteran of President Barack Obama's campaign to lead his bid for governor this year.
Smith, who is facing two challengers for the Democratic nomination, also has four other staffers including the daughter of U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, a Planned Parenthood public affairs director and a strategist who helped with Doug Jones' surprise Senate win in Alabama last year.
Smith's new campaign manager, Mike McCauley, worked in five states during the 2008 presidential primary for then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama and then was Obama's Virginia political director during the general election. He joined the administration as White House liaison and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and chief of staff at the agency's Administration for Children and Families.
The Citadel and Charleston School of Law graduate has experience in campaigning against Republican Gov. Henry McMaster. McCauley worked for now-Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin's 2002 unsuccessful bid for attorney general against McMaster. He also aided Inez Tenenbaum's 2004 Senate bid and U.S. Sen. John Kerry's 2004 presidential run.
McCauley was executive director for the Autism Academy of South Carolina before joining the Smith campaign.
Smith's team also includes:
• Kendall Corley, a campaign veteran who has worked for Obama and Benjamin, who is specializing in African-American voter outreach. He worked with the Democratic National Committee on voter grassroots efforts for Jones, who won in the deep-South Republican state.
• Angela Clyburn Hannibal, a daughter of the longtime Columbia congressman, who helps with outreach to educators.
• Scott Harriford, a Ridgeway hydroponics farmer, who works on Smith's events and scheduling.
• Alyssa Miller, a public affairs director for Planned Parenthood in the Carolinas and New York, who is helping in attracting women voters.
The Democrats have their first competitive primary for governor since 2006 with Smith, Charleston businessman Phil Noble and Florence antitrust attorney Marguerite Willis.
The winner of the June 12 primary will face one of five Republicans: McMaster, Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant, former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill, Mount Pleasant attorney Catherine Templeton or Greenville businessman John Warren.