Who is Jason Palmer, the Democrat who beat Biden in American Samoa’s caucus?

The campaign of a little-known presidential candidate named Jason Palmer organized multiple events in American Samoa in recent weeks, including a town hall and beach cleanup day.

And while Palmer only appeared virtually, the outreach appeared to pay off Tuesday: He won the territory’s Democratic caucus, handing a loss to President Biden as he otherwise romped in the Super Tuesday contests.

“From what I’m gathering from the community there, they just wanted to be heard,” Palmer’s campaign manager, Mario Arias, told The Washington Post on Tuesday night.

Palmer got 51 votes to 40 for Biden, according to the Associated Press. Initially, the AP allocated four delegates for Palmer to Biden’s two but later changed the delegate totals to three apiece.

The island territory in the South Pacific Ocean is home to about 45,000 people — and Biden also lost there in the 2020 primary. Mike Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, defeated Biden there in the only win of Bloomberg’s campaign.

Palmer is a Baltimore resident who describes himself on his campaign website as “an entrepreneur, impact investor, and philanthropist.” He lists Microsoft and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as places where he has worked.

In his campaign, Palmer has played up his age — 52 — claiming to be the youngest Democrat challenging Biden.

“Young people don’t feel like they’re being heard on the issues they care the most about,” Palmer said in a November BBC interview, naming climate change as an example.

Campaign finance reports show Palmer has loaned himself over $500,000 and spent the money on several traditional campaign expenses, such as ad buys and ballot filing fees.

Palmer said Monday on X that “Washington D.C. is long overdue for a president who will be an advocate for American Samoa,” sharing photos of what he called a “meet and greet” in Malaeimi, a village in the territory.

His campaign manager said the campaign had a staffer on the ground who helped organize the events, which Palmer then addressed virtually. For example, the staffer rented out a restaurant where a few dozen people showed up for the town hall, Arias said.

Palmer’s victory in American Samoa caught the attention of another Biden primary challenger, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.).

“Congratulations to Joe Biden, Uncommitted, Marianne Williamson, and Nikki Haley for demonstrating more appeal to Democratic Party loyalists than me,” Phillips said Tuesday night, adding, “And, Jason Palmer.”

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