Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has hired veteran Democratic operative Jonathan Blair to manage his 2014 reelection bid.
Blair had been working for the state Democratic party prior to joining the Malloy campaign. Before that, he ran the congressional campaign of Robin Kelly, the Illinois Democrat who beat a crowded field to win a special election after Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned.
According to a press release issued by the Kelly campaign (and reprinted in The Chicago Sun-Times), Blair is a veteran campaign manager who led state and federal races across the country. \”Jon has successfully guided federal and statewide candidates through large field primaries,\’\’ the release states.
In Illinois, Blair led a sophisticated, data-driven campaign, using metrics to determine who to target in a diverse district, The Sun-Times reported.
Notably, gun control was a big issue in that election. Kelly, a strong backer of stricter gun laws, received an F rating from the National Rifle Association and the pro-gun control Super PAC run by then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg poured $2.2 million into the race on her behalf.
“You sent a message that was heard around our state and across the nation,” Kelly told supporters in her victory speech, according to the Sun-Times. “A message that tells the NRA that their days of holding our country hostage are coming to an end. And their days of scaring Congress into submission on gun control are coming to a close.”
Prior to the Kelly campaign, Blair managed the successful U.S. Senate run of Martin Heinrich of New Mexico.