Emmy Ruiz is an American political strategist and political staffer. She most recently served as the Colorado State Director for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.
After graduating from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2006, Emmy Ruiz began working on political campaigns in 2008 as the Latino outreach director on Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign in Nevada. Ruiz told NBC News that she initially got into politics because of her admiration for Clinton:
“ I was working for the American Red Cross in San Antonio after college, going to (the University of Texas, San Antonio) and I always wanted to work for Hillary. I've loved her and when she ran for president (in 2008) my brother was like, 'why don't you go work for her?' And I thought she'd never hire me. I was the first field organizer hired, and coming out to Las Vegas to work for Hillary Clinton as a field organizer changed my life. That year, Clinton won the Nevada caucus over Barack Obama, a victory that "underscored her strength among Hispanic voters," according to The New York Times.
After the Clinton campaign, from 2009 until 2011, Ruiz worked as a Texas field director for the Democratic National Committee.
Beginning in May 2011, Ruiz worked for a number of organizations associated with President Barack Obama (D). She initially worked as a field director for Organizing for America in Nevada and in Texas. During Obama's 2012 reelection campaign, Ruiz transitioned to direct Obama's efforts in Nevada. Obama won the state over Mitt Romney (R) in the general election.
After the election, Ruiz managed the comprehensive immigration reform campaign for Organizing for Action, a 501(c)(4) organization that was set up with the infrastructure from Obama's 2012 campaign. While working on the immigration campaign, Ruiz was involved in publicity for the immigration reform debates happening in Congress.
Ruiz left Organizing for Action to join Annie's List as the group's political director. Annie's List is an organization that "recruits, trains, supports and elects progressive, pro-choice women in Texas." According to Marie Claire, Ruiz came back to Texas to work for Annie's List in order to mobilize women to vote. The magazine noted that one of Ruiz's organizing issues was the statewide cuts to family planning clinics. Ruiz told the magazine, "Women are realizing they need to get involved. They can't sit on the sidelines anymore. ... We have to see candidates who represent our values and interests."
Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, 2016
During the primary elections, Emmy Ruiz worked in Nevada as the Clinton campaign's Nevada caucus director. She was hired early in 2015 to this position, and she noted in an April 2015 fundraising email that she had already "knocked on countless doors in every part of the state on behalf of Hillary."
In a February 2016 interview with NBC News, Ruiz explained why she supported Clinton in 2008 and 2016:
“Hillary has this strong, strong record of fighting for Latino families. Hillary got her start organizing in politics for public justice, by registering voters in the '70s in the Rio Grande Valley - that's where I was born and raised. ... Her first trip to Nevada, she sat down with Dreamers, unscripted, off the cuff and said, 'talk to me about the challenges you are facing.' And you know what? They really held her to it. And she answered their tough questions - and they endorsed her.”
On April 29, 2016, Bloomberg reported that Emmy Ruiz would transfer from her position in Nevada to work as the campaign's state director for Colorado. The Associated Press noted that Ruiz's appointment, along with that of Mike Vlacich and the hiring of Simone Ward to state-level positions in the general election campaign, pointed towards Clinton campaign making early preparations "for what may be a hard-fought — and personally ugly — fall campaign."
Speaking with KRDO, Ruiz explained the Colorado campaign's approach, saying, "Our campaign in Colorado isn't taking anything for granted. Each day we're working hard in every corner of the state to talk about the clear choice in this election between a candidate who divides people and has run multiple businesses into the ground and a candidate who is committed to bringing people together and building an economy that works for everyone."
In August 2016, Ruiz explained that she felt confident in Clinton's state campaign, saying, "Americans and Coloradans have been paying attention, they have been listening. ... They've been hearing all the divisive language that Trump has been talking about. and that they have no interest in voting for him."