A Campaign to Remember

Aaron Zucker ’18 worked as a field organizer for the presidential campaign of Senator Kamala Harris, who was announced this week as presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s running mate.

By: Mike Falk  Friday, August 14, 2020 08:03 AM

News Image
Aaron Zucker ’18 with Senator Kamala Harris

What Aaron Zucker ’18 thought was a sad ending may have a happy outcome after all.

Zucker worked as a field organizer in South Carolina for the Kamala Harris presidential campaign until it was suspended last December. This week’s announcement of Harris as presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s running mate sparked a flurry of group chats, email exchanges and general excitement from Zucker and his fellow organizers.

“It was a great moment,” he says. “Someone that we worked very hard to get to the White House is going to get there, even if it’s not necessarily the way that we hoped. We’re still very happy to see it.”

As field organizer, Zucker’s job entailed connecting the campaign to voters by recruiting, training and managing volunteers for field activities such as canvassing, phone banking or promoting the campaign at events.

“Helping people find their voice politically is something that I’ve always cared a lot about,” he says. “I always say there are four things you need to be an organizer: You need to have a phone, a car, a laptop and you have to really want to do it. And the first three things are negotiable.”

Zucker, who was a political science major, found his way to campaign work through another former Muhlenberg cross country and track runner, Charles Kline ’14. After attending a pool party at the home of Kline’s then-girlfriend and now fiancée, Ariel Mankin ’14, Zucker was introduced to the campaign manager for Mary Gay Scanlon, who would ultimately win her race for a seat in the House of Representatives.

That connection led to Zucker working on the 2018 Pennsylvania Coordinated Campaign, and those connections helped him land with the Harris campaign last year.

Zucker recently moved back to his native New Jersey after spending time in California working on another campaign and is heading back out on the trail: He just joined the campaign of Kentucky Senate candidate Amy McGrath as a field organizer.

“I’m very lucky that I landed where I did,” he says. “Getting people engaged with the political process and helping campaigns connect to people is something that I really enjoy doing.”