SYRACUSE — Jeremy Edwards, a graduate of Mexico High School, played a part in helping Joseph R. Biden win the presidential election this year.
As the press secretary for Georgia’s “Biden for President”campaign, Edwards was instrumental in helping Biden’s public affairs campaign in that state. Biden prevailed in Georgia by a narrow margin, a key factor in his winning the election.
“I was so honored to play even a small role in Georgia and that fight to say enough is enough, we need someone in the White House who has a plan to get this pandemic under control,” Edwards said.
He said that if he were told during his days at Mexico High School that he would be part of something so significant, he wouldn’t have believed it.
Born in Syracuse, Edwards in his youth lived in many different townships across New York before ending up in Mexico. He graduated from Mexico in 2009 and went to Syracuse University.
He graduated with a to degree in communications and rhetorical studies in 2013.
“My entire family growing up in the area was always big Syracuse fans. Syracuse (athletics) was a big part of my life growing up,” Edwards said. “I always felt like that was the school I was going to end up going to.”
Edwards realized during his college career that he wanted to pursue a life in the political realm. During college, he was an intern working at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern district of New York in Syracuse.
His last college course was a two-week class; one week focused on lecturing political studies and the other week, a trip to Washington, D.C. to tour and visit political institutions.
After that trip, “I knew I wanted to be in Washington. I knew I wanted to be in government,” he said.
After graduation, Edwards started working at Olinsky Law Group in Syracuse as a intake specialist. Shortly after, he started applying for positions all around the capital. According to Edwards, he was able to join the Supreme Court of the United States as a Marshal’s aide in 2013.
“We would sit behind the justices during oral arguments and help them with anything they might need during court or after court,” Edwards said.
He left that position to pursue other opportunities, and over the next four years spent a lot of time moving throughout different government departments. He worked for the Department of Justice (DOJ), the DOJ Office of Public Affairs, U.S. Congress, and the Biden Campaign in Georgia.
He joined the DOJ as a paralegal but soon realized that this was not the path for him. He had a different calling — communications in the Office of Public Affairs.
“While I was at the DOJ as a paralegal, a press assistant job opened in the Office of Public Affairs,” Edwards said. “I really fell into that role. I really enjoyed the work I was doing there, learned a lot about communications work, and eventually I was promoted to a deputy spokesperson in early 2019, which is a great honor.”
However, throughout his tenure in the DOJ, Edwards said he grew “increasingly uncomfortable” with the department throughout the Trump Administration. He looked for other opportunities to work with a team that aligned with his personal beliefs.
“As a career official, I didn’t handle the controversial issues, but I was adjacent enough to them that personally, morally, politically (their actions) didn’t align with the things I’d like to see the department doing or the things I'd like to see them involved with.”
Soon after he decided to leave the DOJ, he secured a new position as the director of communications for Congressman Bobby Rush (an Illinois Democrat) in August 2019.
“If I am going to be a communications professional … I’d like to be with someone I found myself more aligned with politically and morally. That's why I decided to work with Democrats in Congress.”
In August 2020, Edwards returned to Syracuse amid the pandemic to be closer with his family, but he was not there for long. Reaching out to his D.C. connections, he saw the Biden campaign was hiring staff and he wanted to get on board.
He was sent to help out in Georgia as the press secretary for the Biden campaign in September 2020. “I was brought in when the campaign started building up there.”
Edwards worked primarily from Atlanta with a small communications team. He was part of the team responsible for relaying the Biden campaign messages across different media platforms. Messages focused on Biden’s policies and plans.
“I kept telling myself that this was more than a job … I just knew I was a part of something bigger that was going on,” he said. “I had a lot of sleepless nights. I didn’t have many weekends when I was there. I don’t think I ate a single vegetable working on the campaign trail.”
Now that the campaign is finished, Edwards has returned to Syracuse to continue working remotely with Congressman Rush doing his congressional duties. He is hopeful of returning to the Department of Justice in the future.
“I’m definitely open and interested in working on other elections, either in D.C, across the county, or back here in upstate New York,” he said. “Syracuse and upstate New York is always on my mind. I am always looking for more opportunities to come back here and return home using the skills I gained over my years in Washington, D.C.”