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Omaha native could be Biden press secretary

Omaha native could be Biden press secretary

Many news outlets call Symone Sanders a top candidate for the job, for which she would be a historic choice

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Omaha native could be Biden press secretary

Joe Biden and senior adviser Symone Sanders at an Iowa City campaign event in January. Omahan Terri Sanders is "peacock proud" of her daughter.

Omaha native Symone Sanders could make history if President-elect Joe Biden selects her as his press secretary.

Sanders, if tapped, would be the first woman of color to serve an American president in that role, which many national political observers describe as a realistic possibility.

Numerous national news outlets, including the Washington Post, Politico, Axios and Yahoo News, consider Sanders to be a top candidate. Also being considered is Kate Bedingfield, the campaign's deputy campaign manager in charge of communications.

Sanders did not return World-Herald calls or texts this week inquiring about her future. In her new book, "No, You Shut Up: Speaking Truth to Power and Reclaiming America," Sanders made it clear that she would like to one day be press secretary, Yahoo reported.

Republicans and Democrats with White House experience have described Sanders as someone who would do well in the role.

People who know Sanders say she has the right kind of experience, based on her recent work as the senior campaign adviser with the Biden campaign and her work in 2016 as national press secretary for Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential bid.

Precious McKesson, the Nebraska Democratic Party staffer who will cast the Omaha area's electoral vote for Biden next month in Lincoln, said Sanders makes Omaha proud.

"I remember her when she calledme Ms. Precious," McKesson said. "I used to pick her up from school. It was clear she was going places."

Sanders grew up in North Omaha and attended Sacred Heart School and Mercy High School. She graduated from Creighton University.

Her mother, Terri Sanders, reached Wednesday, said she's had to restrain her motherly curiosity in phone conversations with her daughter. She wants to ask the question about "the elephant in the room," but she knows better.

She said she remembers watching young Symone run around the house with a wooden spoon, pretending to interview people as her alter ego, "Donna Burns, reporting live."

"I'm hoping dreams do come true," said Terri, who described herself as "peacock proud" of seeing what Symone has accomplished. "When the time comes, she will tell me."

Terri was recently named publisher of the Omaha Star, Nebraska's only Blackowned newspaper, operated from an office on North 24th Street. She said she and her daughter are proud of the 2nd District for backing Biden. She said it helps give "credibility to what we do here in Omaha."

In the general election, Biden defeated President Donald Trump in Nebraska's 2nd District, which includes Douglas County and western Sarpy County. Trump won Nebraska's four other electoral votes.

"Being in the Midwest, when you say Omaha, people think Oklahoma," she said. "We are as metropolitan as any other city. That shone a light on us that we are."

Sanders made national news in March for tackling an antidairy protester who had rushed the stage in Los Angeles where Biden was speaking.

She also has been a frequent guest on national news shows during the presidential race. She highlighted early on the role that Black voters in South Carolina and elsewhere would play in boosting the Biden campaign's prospects during the 2020 primaries, and they delivered.

The Associated Press and networks have declared Biden the winner of the national presidential race. Trump continues to file legal challenges contesting the election results in pivotal states, with his claims being tossed out by most courts.

aaron.sanderford@owh.com, 402-444-1135 twitter.com/asanderford

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