by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963-65)
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Timothy Kraft graduated from Dartmouth College in 1963, then went on to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala, 1963-65. After graduate studies at Georgetown University, he began a long career of professional involvement in state and federal political campaigns, beginning as Executive Director of the New Mexico Democratic party in 1974. In 1975, he connected with then-Governor Jimmy Carter who came to New Mexico to campaign for the election of a Democratic governor.
In 1975, Timothy connected once again with then-Governor Jimmy Carter’s national presidential campaign as its National Field Director and then as its National Field Coordinator. In the Democratic presidential campaign, he worked to solicit contributions from ten Western states so that candidate Carter could qualify for federal matching funds under the Federal Election Campaign Act.
After then-president Jimmy Carter won the presidency, he named Timothy as his Appointments Secretary, a post he filled from 1977-1978. Then, he became an Assistant to the President for personnel and political coordination. In 1980, Timothy left government to manage Carter’s national campaign against Ronald Reagan.
As the national campaign manager, Timothy was, like Carter, considered skilled in the details of politics. He organized a group known as the “Hispanic American Democrats” to increase the turnout of Hispanics. Working with him was Robert Strauss who in 1980, was the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
In the 1980, through his company, Avanti Lit., Timothy became heavily involved as a consultant in political campaigns throughout Latin America. He considered this an area in which he had become heavily involved as a consultant in political campaigns while in the Peace Corps. In 2003, he appeared in the failed campaign of former Governor Howard Dean of Vermont who was attempting to win the Democratic nomination in 2004 to deny Republican President George W. Bush a second term in the White House.
Since 2004, Timothy is retired and lives in New Mexico. In an interview, he said that he misses the excitement of politics and wishes that he could exert a role in ongoing campaigns. He does write occasional columns for the Albuquerque Journal.
Given Timothy’s key role in Democratic campaigns, he has well merited a Profile in Citizenship.