UPDATED — A recently fired top staffer in the presidential campaign of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, previously worked in the campaigns of both Alabama Sen. Doug Jones and Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin.
Rich McDaniel was dismissed by the Warren campaign after an investigation into “inappropriate behavior,” according to a press release from the campaign.
The political news website Politico reported the dismissal on Saturday and quoted the press statement as saying, “Over the past two weeks, senior campaign leadership received multiple complaints regarding inappropriate behavior by Rich McDaniel. Over the same time period, the campaign retained outside counsel to conduct an investigation. Based on the results of the investigation, the campaign determined that his reported conduct was inconsistent with its values and that he could not be a part of the campaign moving forward.”
The campaign did not comment on the specifics of McDaniel’s behavior. Politico’s story quoted a person “familiar with the campaign” as saying that the misconduct was not of a sexual nature, but the source did not elaborate.
McDaniel released his own statement just after his dismissal became public. “I have separated from the campaign and am no longer serving as National Organizing Director. I have tremendous respect for my colleagues despite any disagreements we may have had and believe departing at this time is in the best interest of both parties. I would never intentionally engage in any behavior inconsistent with the campaign or my own values. If others feel that I have, I understand it is important to listen even when you disagree. I wish the campaign and my colleagues well.”
McDaniel has worked for several Democratic campaigns over his career. He was field and political director for Jones’ successful effort to defeat Republican candidate Roy Moore in the race to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. McDaniel worked as a senior adviser to the campaign of Woodfin, who defeated three-term incumbent mayor William Bell in 2017.
A spokesperson for Jones’ current re-election campaign told BirminghamWatch that neither the campaign nor Jones himself would comment on McDaniel. The spokesperson also would not confirm or specify McDaniel’s role in Jones’ 2017 campaign.
Woodfin verified that McDaniel worked on his campaign. “He worked as a get-out-the-vote and election day consultant and did not hold an official position with the campaign,” Woodfin said.
McDaniel also worked for the campaigns of President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, plus state Democratic Party organizations in Georgia and Ohio. Outside of politics, McDaniel was a labor organizer for the Service Employees International Union and worked as a manager for the company that serviced executive suites for the Atlanta Falcons and at Philips Arena.
According to his profile on LinkedIn, McDaniel is a manager of political and public affairs for the Peter Damon Group, a public affairs agency based in Washington, D.C. The profile makes no mention of his connection to the Warren campaign.
Darren Peters, founder of Peter Damon Group, told BirminghamWatch that McDaniel’s position with the Warren campaign was separate from work for PDG. “Richard has been an advisor to the firm but was working for Warren independent of our company. Beyond what has been reported in the news, we have no additional information,” Peters said in an email.
McDaniel has not commented further since his statement Saturday, and his Twitter account allows only followers to see his tweets, not the general public.