The Root's Talented Ten: Alexander Lofton
Southeast Regional Director, Organizing for America
When it comes to politics, Alex Lofton has the mind of a soldier: The Obama campaign "deployed" the Seattle native—who started as an intern in Chicago headquarters—around the country, to get out the vote. In Washington, he's joined the Democratic Party's effort to build on the successes of organizers like himself.
Hometown: Seattle, Wa.
Campaign Positions: Border State Director, Regional Field Director, Field Director—Georgia
Campaign Turf: South Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Ohio
New Washington Gig: Southeast Regional Director, Organizing for America
Long after the confetti had been cleared from election-night parties, Alex Lofton was still at work. Or “redeployed,” as he likes to say—from Ohio to Georgia, where he had been Obama’s field director, and where a precious Senate seat was still up for grabs. Dubbed by FiveThirtyEight.com, as a “wunderkind” for his tireless work, Lofton began his journey to Washington as an intern in Obama’s Chicago headquarters, while still completing his bachelor’s degree in political science at Northwestern University. The campaign turned out to be a much better education: “I was taking a lot of analytical, sociological classes, where you analyze rich and poor, black and white,” he says. “The campaign brought life to me much quicker.”
Upon graduation, Lofton knew “it was a moment—a movement—and I had the luxury to drop everything and go.” He moved to South Carolina as a field organizer in October 2007 and raced across the country for the rest of the primary season, earning promotions along the way. In Georgia, he oversaw enormous black voter registration and turnout, with some of the strongest showings for Democrats in decades.
Now, he’s ready to continue his political education as a regional field director for Organizing for America. “I don’t want to go into politics just to go into politics, just to have power,” he says. “History played a big part in all of this. … In the civil rights movement, they didn’t know what was going to happen; they had no end in sight; they just kept working. I knew after Nov. 4 there would be no tomorrow.” Luckily for Lofton—now a prized national organizer—there is.
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