Colorado Clinton director Emmy Ruiz among Hillary’s first hires to run grassroots PAC

Author: Ernest Luning - August 6, 2017 - Updated: August 7, 2017

Emmy Ruiz, 2016 Hillary for Colorado state director (Photo courtesy Ruiz)Emmy Ruiz, 2016 Hillary for Colorado state director (Photo courtesy Ruiz)

Hillary Clinton has hired Emmy Ruiz, Colorado state director for Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, to help organize Onward Together, a nonprofit and super-PAC Clinton and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean founded earlier this year.

Ruiz and fellow long-time Clinton operative Adam Parkhomenko are among the first hires for the project, which is aimed at backing grassroots Democratic organizations, BuzzFeed News reported Friday. They’ve been hired as consultants.

Ruiz led Clinton to a 4.9-point win over Republican Donald Trump in Colorado, considered one of the crucial battleground states in last year’s presidential election. Before taking the helm in Colorado last spring, Ruiz was state director in Nevada for a year, where she delivered a caucus victory for Clinton that was seen as a crucial turn in momentum in the primary race against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Along with former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, Ruiz was named in April to a Democratic National Committee commission charged with suggesting ways to reform the party’s presidential nominating process. The Democratic Unity Reform Commission — the result of a deal reached at last summer’s Democratic National Convention between Clinton, Sanders and national Democrats — will consider the role of super delegates, how the party conducts caucuses and primaries and other aspects of the process.

Ruiz has also served as political director for Annie’s List, a state-level organization similar to EMILY’s List in Texas, and has worked on both the Clinton and Obama campaigns since 2007.

Onward Together was formed to support grassroots progressive organizations, Axios first reported. Dean, a former DNC chair and 2004 presidential candidate, told BuzzFeed that Ruiz is busy helping the group determine which organizations to fund and support as well as helping work with groups already on board, including Emerge America and Indivisible.

“She’s moving us right on task, which is what we really needed,” Dean said.

CLARIFICATION: This post has been updated to note that Ruiz and Parkhomenko are consultants with Onward Together.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.