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Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton enters 2020 race

Posted at 4:56 AM, Apr 22, 2019

Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton was the latest Democrat to enter the 2020 presidential race on Monday, launching a longshot bid that would make the 40-year-old Marine Corps veteran the youngest president in American history.

In a campaign video, the Democrat touted his military service and time in Congress and explained why he believes he should be the party's next presidential nominee.

Next up, Moulton has planned a breakneck string of trips to each of the four early nominating states this week.

The congressman will travel to New Hampshire on Tuesday and headline "Politics and Eggs" -- the state's traditional stop for presidential candidates -- on Wednesday morning before traveling to South Carolina for events that evening. Moulton will then travel to Iowa on Thursday and Nevada on Friday and Saturday, with a stop in Los Angeles for fundraising and media appearances.

Moulton will center this burst of travel around service events, a throwback to a strategy he used during his longshot 2014 House campaign and, in 2018, how he campaigned for many other Democrats like now-Rep. Andy Kim in New Jersey.

Moulton has inched toward a 2020 run for months, setting a deadline to announce by the end of April. The congressman also began beefing up his policy positions in March to prepare for the likely bid.

Moulton enters the 2020 race as a longshot in the crowded field. First elected in 2014 after serving in the Marine Corps for four tours, Moulton has seen a raised national profile in recent years as he tried -- and failed -- to oust Nancy Pelosi from House Democratic leadership. Still, he remains a relative unknown.

A Moulton candidacy will center on his age and military experience. The 40-year-old lawmaker has routinely called for a "new generation of leadership" inside the Democratic Party, part of his effort to remove Pelosi. Moulton, in a knock against him with some Democrats, later voted for Pelosi's speakership after Democrats retook the House in the midterms.

The Moulton campaign will initially be primarily staffed by operatives from Serve America, his national PAC that looked to elect Democratic candidates with either military or other forms of service in their background.

Jim Matheson, a senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School and a veteran, will serve as Moulton's launch campaign manager, and Michelle Kleppe, the director for the Moulton PAC, will work as the campaign's political adviser. Matt Corridoni, Moulton's longtime spokesman and a veteran of former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's 2016 campaign, will be the campaign's national press secretary and Moulton's senior spokesman.

Moulton's campaign is expected to focus heavily on veterans' issues. And, as a symbol of that focus, the campaign has hired Scott Eshom, a Green Beret with the Army's 5th Special Forces Group, as the campaign's veterans organizer. The campaign has also hired David Vorland, a former adviser in the Office of the Secretary of Defense under President Barack Obama, as a senior policy adviser focused on foreign policy.