The Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign has tapped a Lancaster woman to be its national field director.
Becca Rast, 29, has been named to the campaign’s leadership team as it prepares for its official launch later this month.
“I am so excited to work with volunteers and staff all over the country to elect a champion for working people,” she said.
Rast has been involved in political organizing and activism since her teens. At McCaskey High School, from which she graduated in 2008, she co-founded Lancaster Students for a Democratic Society and pushed to end U.S. military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
She co-founded Lancaster Stands Up, a progressive organization formed in the wake of President Donald Trump’s 2016 election, and managed Democrat Jess King’s 2018 congressional campaign against Republican U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker.
Though Smucker won the election, securing his second term, the King campaign raised more money and built a larger field organization than had any previous Democrat in Lancaster County.
In her new position, Rast will oversee the Sanders campaign’s nationwide volunteer training and mobilization effort.
King praised Rast’s “exemplary organizing skills.”
“I can’t think of anyone better equipped to do this work on the national level,” she said.
More than a million volunteers have already signed up to help Sanders’ upcoming run, the campaign says. They are being asked to host house parties on April 27, the official launch date for the campaign’s grassroots organizing.
Rast said she was “deeply inspired” by the unprecedented volunteer mobilization for Sanders in 2016 and looks forward to continuing it for 2020.
“Bringing everyday people into politics is why I started organizing in high school, and I am honored to be doing this with Sen. Sanders campaign,” she said.
Sanders, who unsuccessfully battled Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic nomination for president, is part of a large field of Democrats gearing up for the 2020 election.