Hired gun brings ammo to Shade campaign
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After suffering a bruising 13-point loss to challenger Kathie Tovo, Austin City Council Member Randi Shade has hired a seasoned campaign consultant to help her win the runoff election June 18.
Speaking to supporters Thursday, Shade said she was confident she could make history in Austin and securely resume her Place 3 spot on the Austin City Council.
"I am absolutely confident that it can be done and that with your help we will get it done," Shade said.
Since her dismal numbers in the general election one week ago, Shade has hired Lynda Rife to help her campaign. Rife is a heavy-hitter political consultant with years of experience at the local, state and federal level.
“Even when you're losing, your job as a professional is to get your job done," Rife said. "This is a high-stake race and the differences between the candidates is stark."
Rife helped campaign against Proposition 2 in 2008. As a result of her effort, the Domain Shopping Center was able to keep $57 million in local tax revenue.
William "Peck" Young is the director of Austin Community College’s Center for Public Policy and Political Studies. Young said Shade’s newly-hired gun places a fine-tuned scope on her campaign.
"She's going to bring someone that has a game plan, she's going to run that game plan and she's not going to be the person that's going to get rattled by whatever the press release or crisis of the day is," he said.
Rife's game plan experience reaches back two decades and according to Rifeline.com, her expertise helped rake in $1 billion for community developments.
She also helped spearhead the “Keep Austin Moving” campaign.
"Linda not only is a manager, but she is a field organizer,” Young said. “Shade’s operation is now going to be a lot more focused on getting the people who supported her to get out to vote."
Rife also brings with her political experience with ties to U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett as well as former Texas Governor Ann Richards.
Recently, she has worked with pro-toll and pro-business groups.