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Gubernatorial Campaign Managersl

October 25, 2000
By: Clayton Bellamy
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - The campaign managers for the two leading candidates for Missouri governor bring a wealth of administrative experience to their jobs.

One is a long-term campaign worker. The other is a former telephone company executive.

Bob Holden's Manager

When Richard Martin stepped down as the Missouri Democratic Party's executive director to become an exec at Sprint PCS, he thought he would never go back to the hurlyburly of politics.

But that was before state Treasurer Bob Holden called to ask Martin to manage his gubernatorial bid.

"I was surprised and flattered," Martin said. "I had never run a statewide campaign before."

No rookie, Martin had been in politics since 1976 even running President Clinton's re-election efforts in the state in 1996. But running a statewide campaign offered different challenges.

In a presidential campaign on the state level, he said, you don't have to raise all your own funds, plan a daily schedule for the candidate or produce your own commercials.

But in a gubernatorial run, all those chores fall squarely on the campaign's shoulders.

Martin, 41, grew up in an affluent neighborhood in Dallas, Texas. The first time he was eligible to vote, he said he was one of a miniscule minority in the neighborhood who voted Democratic.

He said his physician father was a Democrat until 1978 when President Jimmy Carter started pushing a stronger role for government in health care. His mom is a life-long Republican.

From an early age, Martin said, the Democrats have always appealed to him.

"As early as 1968 I was watching the news that was so filled with protests and assassinations and I felt like the Dems were better prepared to heal the country than Nixon was," he said.

Martin came to Missouri in 1992 to serve as coordinator of the Clinton-Gore campaign for the western half of the state. Afterward he became the top dog at the state Democratic Party.

In '96, after heading up Clinton's re-election effort in the state, he left politics to lobby for Sprint, working with lawmakers on the ballot issue to provide 911 service on cellular phones. Voters eventually defeated the measure.

Using his business degree from the University of Texas, Martin became a senior manager in business development for Sprint. His duties were to contract with smaller cellular providers to move Sprint toward full national coverage.

He and his wife of five years live in Kansas City, though he currently rents an apartment in St. Louis during the campaign. They have a 2-year-old daughter.

He has worked on many campaigns through the years including Ann Richards' run for the Texas governorhsip and Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey's 1991 presidential bid.

Jim Talent's Campaign Manager

In his sixth campaign, Brad Scott is finally realizing his goal of running a statewide race.

Scott, GOP gubernatorial candidate Jim Talent's campaign manager, said this race -- his first statewide -- is probably his last.

"My hope was to run one statewide race before the end of my career," Scott said. "It's a very, very hard life; it takes a toll. It's a young man's game."

Still a young man by many standards, Scott, 36, is old in the youthful world of the congressional or campaign staff.

He said he doesn't have a job lined up after the election, but he said he hopes to enter the private sector.

"If Jim's elected I will assist in his transition to office and in the first legislative session if he wants me to," Scott said. "But I hope to transfer back to Kansas City."

Kansas City is Scott's hometown, but he was born in Warrensburg, Mo. He and his wife of five years recently built a home just east of Kansas City, in Lake Lotawana.

Although he holds two degrees in political science, Scott said he never set out to work in politics.

Politics "is what I studied and what I was good at," he said. "But my first interest was in law enforcement."

Scott's first job after college was in Sen. Kit Bond's Washington office. A friend from MU's student government, David Ayres, who is running GOP Sen. John Ashcroft's re-election campaign, recruited Scott to the nation's capital.

Scott said a 1996 tax increase to renovate Kansas City's Union Station was his most proud political accomplishment. As manager of that campaign, he said they had to push similar ballot language through both the Missouri and Kansas legislatures and past voters in five counties.

"Union Station represents a turning point in downtown Kansas City revitalization," he said.

In addition to the Union Station tax levy and this year's governor's race, Scott worked on Bush/Quayle in 1988, Bond's Senate runs in 1992 and 1998, and maneged U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof's first unsuccessful congressional bid in 1994.

Despite his aims for a more sedate life away from politics, Scott said another ride on the campaign bus isn't out of the question.

"If another cause came along that I believe in, I wouldn't rule out another campaign," he said.