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National Politics

Julián Castro lays off staff in New Hampshire, South Carolina

Julián Castro is laying off his campaign team in New Hampshire and South Carolina as he fights to keep his campaign afloat, a Castro aide tells CNN.

The teams in the two early nominating states were told they were being let go on Monday. Their last days at work will be next week, the aide said.

This comes after CNN first reported on Saturday that the Castro campaign was looking to downsize, supporting staffers looking for other jobs and pivoting their focus to Iowa, Nevada and Texas.

“In pushing to keep Secretary Castro’s critical voice in this race, our campaign, like many others, will make adjustments in staffing and resources,” Hackett said, in response to a story first reported by Politico. “This race is shifting as we speak, and Julián will continue to be fearless and defy expectations by making the most of our resources.”

Some Castro aides outside of New Hampshire and South Carolina have taken the campaign up on that offer and other campaigns have received inquiries from would-be former Castro aides.

All of this is a bid to keep Castro’s campaign solvent as the former Housing and Urban Development secretary works to qualify for the November debate, something he has yet to do.

Castro has struggled for months to raise money or get attention in the still large field of Democrats vying for the chance to take on President Donald Trump in 2020. Castro spent the final 10 days of October pushing to raise $800,000 and pledged to donors that he would drop out if he failed to hit that goal. The campaign narrowly hit the goal with hours to go on October 31.

But the decision to lay off staff in the wake of that fundraising push raises questions about how long the money can actually propel the former San Antonio mayor.

Castro also plans to go on air with a small $50,000 ad in Iowa starting on Tuesday morning, a bid to drum up enough publicity and support to register at 3% in the needed statewide polls to make the November debate.

CNN