Thursday, May 27, 2004

Crowley: Consultant's campaigns go swimmingly

Around Northern Kentucky

Northern Kentucky's hottest new Republican political consultant can't swim.

Though Brian Richmond grew up near Covington's Goebel Park, he spent his summers on the baseball diamond and basketball court instead of in the park's pool. By the time he hit Beechwood High School, Richmond was playing three sports, but none involved water.

"I just always wanted to play ball," Richmond said over breakfast. "The pool didn't interest me. It still doesn't."

That's good, because Richmond wouldn't have much time to take a dip this summer. He's busy running the campaign of Covington City Commission candidate Rob Sanders.

There's likely to be more work. When a political consultant wins races, the phone tends to ring.

Richmond, 34, a Lakeside Park law student, rang up two victories in the May 18 primary with a pair of first-time candidates.

Sanders finished an impressive fifth in the field of 11 candidates in Covington's City Commission primary to advance to the November general election.

Richmond's other candidate, Boone County Republican Addia Wuchner, won a GOP statehouse primary. With no Democrat in the race, she will be sworn into her Statehouse seat in January.

Sanders described Richmond as a true campaign "manager" who oversaw all aspects of the campaign.

"He is very good on implementing a strategy and then staying on message," Sanders said. "But he really knows how to run and manage a campaign. His work saved me a lot of money."

Wuchner said she would definitely recommend Richmond to other GOP candidates.

"Brian helped me craft my message and stay focused on it," she said.

"He might have had other candidates he was working with, but he gave me so much attention and time I felt like mine was the only campaign he was working on."

Richmond was raised by parents who were in a mixed marriage - politically. Dad is a blue-collar union Democrat; Mom is a Republican.

"I really became a strong Republican when Reagan was president," Richmond said. "My dad tries to get me to change, but I think he knows it's a losing battle."

With Northern Kentucky dominated by Republicans, Richmond should have no trouble signing on with candidates, Sanders said.

His philosophies are simple: Raise money; no campaign is viable without it. Research your opponent, but not to throw mud; instead, use the information to fire up supporters and contributors.

Also, do research to find out who votes, and then target the heck out of those voters with mail, phone calls and face-to-face visits.

But most of all, stay out of the deep end of the pool.


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