Representative Ruben Gallego is looking to draw from the teams that propelled Senator Raphael Warnock and Senator-elect John Fetterman to victory in the 2022 midterms, according to five Democrats with knowledge of those talks.
Gallego is one of the top prospects eyeing running for the Arizona Senate seat currently represented by Senator Kyrsten Sinema. Earlier this month, Sinema announced her decision to leave the Democratic Party and become an independent. Since then, Gallego has been interviewing vendors and consultants about a future federal campaign—a surefire tell in political campaign circles that another campaign is on his mind.
Gallego has already brought on Democratic pollster GBAO strategies. If he does run for Senate, he’s going to use Aisle 518 Strategies for digital fundraising and New Deal Strategies, a political messaging and consulting firm founded by Rebecca Katz.
GBAO Strategies did polling for Warnock. Aisle 518 was a consultant on Arizona Senator Mark Kelly’s reelection campaign in the 2022 midterm cycle. And Katz, along with Democratic admaker Bill Hyers, was one of the masterminds behind Fetterman’s hard-fought victory in Pennsylvania.
As Gallego gathers seasoned consultants, Sinema has been losing them. The digital progressive consulting firm Authentic dropped her as a client, according to Politico. Dixon/Davis Media Group, a boutique firm that has been a vendor for Senate and congressional races, especially out West, also parted ways with Sinema before her announcement, Democratic sources tell The New Republic.
That Gallego is continuing to lean on these consultants in particular offers a few clues about what kind of campaign the Arizona congressman would run. All of these firms were part of teams that won Senate races in serious battleground states. That Gallego is keeping them around suggests he’s looking to run a statewide election in 2024 and he knows he will need staff and advisers who have won tough fights already. That’s the kind of situation the Arizona congressman will likely find himself in: a three-way battle with Sinema and whoever Republicans look to prop up.
This piece has been updated.