Senator Bernie Sanders told The New York Times on Wednesday that his campaign will lay off staffers nationwide in order to focus resources on winning the remaining 14 primaries down the stretch, including the 475 delegates up for grab in California on June 7.
Sanders told the Times’ Yamiche Alcindor that his campaign would pare down staff in states that have already held primaries. He added that he planned to stay in the race through the Democratic Convention – which begins July 25 in Philadelphia – and hoped to bring back staffers if he captures the nomination.
Speaking from Indiana, where the next Democratic primary will be conducted on May 3, Sanders said:
We want to win as many delegates as we can, so we do not need workers now in states around the country. We don’t need people right now in Connecticut. That election is over. We don’t need them in Maryland. So what we are going to do is allocate our resources to the 14 contests that remain, and that means that we are going to be cutting back on staff.
Sanders did not mention an exact number of staffers expected to be let go:
It will be hundreds of staff members. We have had a very large staff, which was designed to deal with 50 states in this country; 40 of the states are now behind us. So we have had a great staff, great people.
If we win this, every one of those great people who have helped us get this far, they will be rehired. But right now, we have to use all of the resources we have and focus them on the remaining states.
Sanders said that in addition to the lay offs, many of his staffers nationwide would be transferred to California and other states to help out.
California will have the most staff. Symbolically and in terms of delegates, if we can win the largest state in this country, that will send a real message to the American people and to the delegates that this is a campaign that is moving in the direction it should.
Fourteen primaries remain, including: Indiana on May 3 with 83 delegates; Guam on May 7 with 7; West Virginia on May 10 with 29; Oregon on May 17 with 61; Kentucky May 17 with 55; Virgin Islands June 4 with 7; and Puerto Rico June 5 with 60.
June 7 features six contests with California (475 delegates), Montana (21), New Mexico (34), New Jersey (126), South Dakota (20) and North Dakota (18) all up for grabs.
Washington D.C. hosts the remaining primary with 20 delegates up for grab on June 14.
After the April 26 primaries, which saw Sanders win Rhode Island, while losing to Hillary Clinton in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland, Sanders is trailing Clinton in the delegate count 1,318 to 1,645.