Dave “Mudcat” Saunders, a veteran Democratic strategist in Virginia, has made his way back to campaign politics after taking a more than three-year hiatus.
Saunders is advising the campaign of Wayne Powell, a retired Army officer who is waging an uphill battle against House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in a Republican-favored district.
Saunders has been on a media barnstorming tour in recent weeks in an effort to boost the name recognition of Powell, including appearances on MSNBC shows and a piece on the Huffington Post criticizing Cantor.
Best known for his work on now-Sen. Mark Warner’s (D-Va.) 2001 gubernatorial campaign, Saunders, a Roanoke-area resident, told Roll Call he took a reprieve from politics following the long days on the 2008 presidential campaign of former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.). He also served as a senior strategist for Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) in 2006.
Democratic pollster Harrison Hickman conducted a poll for Powell in early June that found Cantor up by double digits. Saunders said there is a path to victory if Powell can raise the money, increase Cantor’s unfavorable rating and benefit from the get-out-the-vote operation of both President Barack Obama and former Gov. Tim Kaine’s (D) Senate campaign.
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Correction: July 31, 5:08 p.m.
An earlier version of this article misstated that Ted Prill works at Red Maverick Media. He no longer does.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.