|Politics is a labor of love and devotion, says David Contarino. It’s a demanding career that requires patience and, most of all, a connection to real people.By all accounts, David Contarino is a levelheaded political strategist with a 25-year history of promoting Democratic politicians and causes. He served as chief political advisor to New Mexico’s former governor Bill Richardson and has worked closely with the Democratic Governors Association|
and numerous political organizations. David Contarino is also a family man and entrepreneur who regularly separates himself from the political world in order to better connect with those he meets on the campaign trail.
A rewarding career
David Contarino explains that the nature of his work involves promoting elected officials and political campaigns. As a strategist, David Contarino must act as a manager, public relations specialist, advertising expert, and advocate. According to David Contarino, being a political consultant and advisor often means one thing—a complete and total immersion in all things political. However, this immersion can take its toll on one’s family and personal life. David Contarino says he has made a point over the last two and a half decades to ensure that his family always comes first.
One of the biggest challenges, says David Contarino, is also one of the most exciting aspects of his position. David Contarino is responsible for making sure that each campaign he oversees is decidedly different from others and therefore memorable to the public. David Contarino explains that this approach has become more difficult over the years with the introduction of the Internet and social media.
In the off years
David Contarino decided early on that he would have a second full-time career, one that would support him and his family and still allow him to invest his energy in political projects in which he had interest. So, David Contarino set about learning all he could about real estate. In the years between elections, David Contarino has spent his time between land development and commercial and residential investment. Additionally, David Contarino and wife, Linda, have owned a number of rental properties and title and escrow companies.
David Contarino says this career has not only given him the freedom to enjoy his life and his family but also to keep politics in perspective. These professional pursuits have allowed David Contarino to understand policy-making both from a political standpoint and also as a business owner. The ability to see both sides of the coin gives him the freedom to pursue only those opportunities that truly benefit the people.
David Contarino states that he has become a better political consultant by spending years in “the real world.” He claims to have a greater understanding of how the average American lives his or her life in relation to government and policy.
Advice for future consultants
When asked what he would say to those interested in pursuing a career as a political strategist, David Contarino warns that such a job is:
- - Tough on family and one’s personal life
- - A labor of love—though some strategists and consultants can make a lot of money, most political folks invest time and energy for low pay.
- - A career that subjects a person to constant public scrutiny.
David Contarino says he would not trade his job as a political consultant for any other career, and he is proud to have been affiliated with some of the most notable names in the Democratic Party. Recently, David Contarino had the honor of serving as Chief Strategist for Congresswoman Michele Grisham and helped her win the 2012 Congressional election in New Mexico.