President Donald Trump has picked a digital guru who built his career in San Antonio to run his 2020 re-election campaign.
Brad Parscale, whose San Antonio web design firm played a leading role in Trump's digital efforts in the 2016 race, will be campaign manager for 2020. Parscale worked for Trump long before he became a political candidate, and Parscale's firm was paid millions of dollars during the 2016 campaign.
“Brad was essential in bringing a disciplined technology and data-driven approach to how the 2016 campaign was run," said Trump's son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner, in a press release. "His leadership and expertise will be help build a best-in-class campaign.”
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The decision, first reported by The Drudge Report and later confirmed in a press release, comes nearly 1,000 days before the 2020 election, and Trump changed campaign managers multiple times during the 2016 race. But early on, it places a Texan in one of the most prominent positions of the 2020 cycle.
The Trump campaign also said it plans to be engaged in the 2018 elections, "providing candidates with general support, endorsements, and rallying the support of the political grassroots by engaging Trump supporters in districts and states."
Parscale did not respond to a phone message and an e-mail seeking comment.
Parscale is a Kansas native who graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio in 1999. He began working for Trump in 2011, starting with some contracts in real estate. He created Trump's exploratory website, and worked to hire contractors, buy advertising and manage small-dollar fundraising efforts during Trump's 2016 campaign.
In a press release, the president's son Eric Trump said Parscale "has our family's complete trust."
Parscale has also been a big player in the San Antonio tech scene, though his efforts supporting Trump turned off some in that community. He was involved in the effort to bring the ride-sharing service Uber back to that city after a tussle over local regulations. The radio station WOAI called him the "public face of the city's breathtaking Tech Evolution of 2015" when it named him San Antonian of the year.
After the 2016 election, Parscale remained in the president’s orbit. A Trump-supporting super PAC paid him more than $130,000 in 2017, according to the Federal Elections Commission. That payment was for digital design, fundraising and consulting work, according to the report.
The finance reports also indicate that Parscale may have relocated outside of Texas. The super PAC’s expenditures are directed to the firm Parscale Strategies, which lists an address in Pompano Beach, Florida, less than an hour drive from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.
Disclosure: Uber has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.