Often called the “man behind the governor,” David Contarino is a political strategist and adviser with more than three decades’ experience in the Democratic Party.
David Contarino served Bill Richardson during his first campaign for governor of New Mexico. After Richardson’s win, David Contarino was appointed chief of staff. He worked for three years under Gov. Richardson—the first Hispanic governor in the U.S. Notably, with David Contarino as chief of staff, Richardson increased life insurance for New Mexico National Guard members, created the Governor Richardson’s Investment Partnership (GRIP), and added a person’s sexual orientation to New Mexico’s Civil Rights protected categories. Also with David Contarino by his side, Gov. Richardson held talks with North Korea about its nuclear weapons and signed into effect legislation for New Mexico handgun laws. David Contarino was appointed Richardson’s national campaign manager in 2006.
David Contarino worked with Gov. Richardson as chief political adviser during Richardson’s tenure as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.
David Contarino has similarly worked for Sen. Jeff Bingaman; in 1994 he was appointed Bingaman’s campaign manager and later, in 2000, the senator’s senior advisor.
In 2012, David Contarino served Congresswoman Michelle Grisham as senior strategist. He is commended as having led her campaign to success.
More recently, David Contarino focused his efforts on Independent Expenditure PACs, where he specialized as media consultant, senior strategist, and manager, and worked alongside government officials on numerous political campaigns. Particular points of interest for David Contarino include his work with the Patriot Majority West campaign in 2008, the 2010 Colorado Freedom Fund campaign, and the Kentucky Family Values campaigns of 2011 and 2012.
David Contarino has recently returned to his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, where he is President of Contarino & Associates, LLC.