Chris Russell cut his political teeth in Burlington County, one of the underground operatives who helped the GOP secure what in this century has been one of the most reliably operational political organizations in the state.
The Jacksonville resident has been in some wars.
He blew up Ocean County Freeholder Jack Kelly before it was fashionable, in a 2008 CD3 Republican Primary.
He won with Jon Runyan in 2010 and Tom MacArthur in 2014.
He suffered his share of heartbreaks, like the Vince Polistina LD2 senate race in 2011.
Or the Chris Myers 2008 general in CD3.
But for a decade he has been one of the dominant if not the most dominant Republican campaign consultants in South Jersey, maintaining traction in the post Bridgegate mudslide of the past three years, working with the likes of successful candidates like MacArthur, a feel good narrative for the GOP that has otherwise gaped amid the burial mounds of many Chris Christie era Republicans.
Now the veteran Russell is going statewide for the first time, as a key crew member in the maverick Citattarelli gubernatorial cockpit, jumping into a long-shot bid against an organizationally well wired LG. Jeered at behind the scenes for taking a shot now, Ciattarelli fans nonetheless believe they have the critical advantages of a strong candidate – and a proven winner strategist.