U.S. Sen. Barack Obama�s presidential campaign has found a new home in Madison.
Later this week, Obama�s staff will settle in a rented office space in Laundry 101 Laundromat at 437 W. Gilman St., the second headquarters for the Illinois senator�s campaign in Wisconsin.
The office was used four years ago by then-U.S. Sen. John Edwards� campaign and U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, according to Ald. Zach Brandon, District 7, who owns Laundry 101. U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisconsin, has also used the Laundromat for events, though he did not rent the office.
Obama spokesperson Ben LaBolt said the headquarters should open late this week, and preparations for a Madison-based campaign have already begun.
�We currently have staffers on the ground in Wisconsin, and we�ve begun to organize a statewide field organization that is headed by neighbors talking about why Barack Obama is the best presidential candidate,� LaBolt said.
As the only Democratic candidate to have visited UW, LaBolt added Obama has �a stronger base of support and the largest chapter of all the campaigns.�
�We believe that in a race this close organization matters, and the most persuasive form of communication is neighbors talking to neighbors about Barack Obama,� he said.
Though nothing has been confirmed, Brandon is hopeful Obama may visit campus once more before Wisconsin�s primary Feb. 19.
�I�d be shocked to not see Barack Obama,� Brandon said. �I can�t make promises, but if you�re at the Obama office, you never know who might show up.�
Along with Brandon, Obama has also been endorsed by Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle and Ald. Eli Judge, District 8.
Brandon will cover the cost of rent as a donation for Obama�s campaign, and the office will be used to distribute information on the Illinois senator through stickers, flyers and word of mouth.
�I�m a supporter of Barack Obama, but this is more about making sure people have access to the campaigns close to campus,� he said.
Obama�s is the only presidential campaign to have offices in Wisconsin, as the campaign recently opened an office in Milwaukee as well, Brandon said.