Californians among Obama campaign’s co-chairs

Several Californians – including a tech mogul, a statewide elected officer and a big-city mayor – are among President Obama’s national campaign co-chairs, the ambassadors who’ll advise the campaign and help mobilize voters.

On the list are Salesforce.com Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff of San Francisco; Los Angeles County Federation of Labor AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer Maria Elena Durazo; California Attorney General Kamala Harris; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; actress Eva Longoria of Los Angeles; and actor Kalpen Modi, a former White House Office of Public Engagement aide who’s now pursuing a graduate certificate in international security at Stanford University.

“The President’s National Co-Chairs will be tremendous assets on the ground as we build the biggest grassroots campaign in history,” said Jim Messina, Obama for America Campaign Manager. “They each share the President’s vision for a future where every American can have a fair shot at success, where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded.”

Benioff had opened his opulent home for a $35,800-a-head fundraiser for the president’s campaign last April. “His focus on American jobs and support for companies that create jobs here in America are just what we need to keep this recovery moving,” he said in today’s news release.

Harris was active in Obama’s 2008 campaign, building ties that stood her in good stead when she ran for her current office in 2010.

“Since taking office, the President has worked tirelessly to provide relief for struggling middle-class families and to lay a foundation for a strong economy that’s built to last,” she said in today’s release. “The President’s leadership and vision for the future will continue to move the country forward, rather than taking us back to the failed policies of the past.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.