Omaha native Symone Sanders is stepping down from her role as a senior adviser and chief spokeswoman for Vice President Kamala Harris at the end of the year.
Sanders, a Black political strategist, grew up in North Omaha and graduated from Mercy High School and Creighton University.
She was Bernie Sanders’ press secretary during his 2016 presidential campaign, and a senior adviser to President Joe Biden’s successful 2020 campaign.
Prior to her role under Harris, observers had considered Sanders a top candidate to be press secretary for Biden.
Her mother, Terri Sanders, reached Thursday, confirmed that her daughter will leave the role Dec. 31. She hasn’t made any decisions about what’s next, Sanders said, but her daughter won’t be coming back to Nebraska.
“I am very proud of her work,” she said. “She always acknowledges Omaha, Nebraska, as her home and North Omaha as where she was raised. And she is certainly a beacon to show people that you can make it.”
Terri Sanders is publisher of the Omaha Star, Nebraska’s only Black-owned newspaper, operated from an office on North 24th Street.
She called her daughter’s departure a “friendly parting,” and said it was her daughter’s decision to leave.
“One thing about her: She makes her own decisions, and she decides when it’s time to turn the page,” Terri Sanders said.
The reports from Politico and CNN include a note from Symone Sanders to staff Wednesday night: “I’m so grateful to the VP for her vote of confidence from the very beginning and the opportunity to see what can be unburdened by what has been. I’m grateful for [Harris chief of staff] Tina [Flournoy] and her leadership and her confidence as well. Every day, I arrived to the White House complex knowing our work made a tangible difference for Americans. I am immensely grateful and will miss working for her and with all of you.”
Sanders’ move comes on the heels of reports of dysfunction in the vice president’s office and another high-profile departure. Last month, national outlets reported that Ashley Etienne, Harris’ communications director, was also leaving her role.