Turnover in Vice President Kamala Harris‘ office is claiming another top staffer.
Communications Director Jamal Simmons is expected to depart next month after roughly a year in the role, according to Politico.
“Working for Vice President Harris has been an honor and a privilege,” Simmons said in a statement to the news outlet. “I’m so thankful for the confidence she put in me and I will miss this fantastic team more than anything.”
Simmons, a veteran Democratic communications aide, intends to move to New York with his family, per the report. It was not immediately clear who will replace him as comms director.
Several others have left Harris’ office since she became vice president less than two years ago. The “exodus,” as The Washington Post put it in 2021, has raised questions about what kind of work environment Harris has fostered. When Symone Sanders, who was Harris’ senior adviser and chief spokesperson, departed at the end of last year, the news outlet reported it came as the vice president contended with claims of dysfunction among staff and messaging issues coupled with criticism that the vice president faced on multiple fronts, including for her efforts to address challenges at the southern border.
Others who have departed from Harris’ employ include domestic policy adviser Rohini Kosoglu, speechwriter Meghan Groob, Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh, Communications Director Ashley Etienne, and more.
Lorraine Voles, Harris’ chief of staff, said in an email to staff on Friday that Simmons had originally agreed to stay for a year to help her “steady the ship.” During Simmons’ tenure, he helped to build the vice president’s “digital presence and building relationships with national, regional and constituency media,” she added.
President Joe Biden has said he intends to seek reelection in 2024, and Harris said in September that she would “proudly” run with him if he does. Biden may be up for a rematch against former President Donald Trump, who declared his 2024 candidacy last month.