The news coverage of one of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Gestapo style immigrant raids at a Chandler public school in 2010 is what convinced Jon Ryder to become fully involved in Arizona Politics.
Seeing what amounted to modern-day Nazi tactics by Arpaio’s Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office propelled him to become involved in Democratic politics. By 2013, he had risen to a top leadership position as Executive Director of the Maricopa County Democratic Party.
Focusing on one level of government at a time, Ryder and other County Democratic leaders focused on turning Phoenix from purple to primarily blue.
Then, the Maricopa County Democratic Party focused on legislative and county offices. The key to success, according to Ryder was “convincing people to run for offices that Democrats hadn’t contested for years or decades.”
In 2016, Maricopa County Democrats put forth nine candidates for county offices. They won six of those races. Most are familiar with the victorious Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone and Recorder Adrian Fontes. People often forget that Democrats won seats at the Maricopa County Community College Board (where the winning candidate Linda Thor is now the Board President) and the Central Arizona Water Board, which enabled pro-public education, pro-science and pro-climate change voices to shape public policy.
When 2018 came, the main focus shifted to winning more seats in the Arizona State Legislature and local seats like mayoral and school board seats across the county.
To that end, Ryder and others formed the Run to Win Fund in 2017 and Run to Win Campaigns in 2018. This organization is designed to provide political advice, campaign consulting, management oversight, fundraising expertise, and communication services to candidates that enlist their assistance.
In 2018, Run to Win Fund and Run to Win Campaigns combined helped 13 candidates directly. Ten of those 13 candidates won their races, including Kate Gallego, Kelli Butler, Aaron Lieberman, Raquel Terán, Diego Rodriguez, Mitzi Epstein, Ginny Dickey, Jennifer Adams, Solange Whitehead, and Jann-Michael Greenberg. Two others, Christine Porter Marsh and Eric Kurland, came within striking distance of victory.
Going into 2020, Ryder hopes to provide Run to Win Campaigns’ services to approximately two dozen candidates.
Candidates that are within the same district or same local geography will likely be grouped with the same political and campaign teams.
Races that Run to Win Fund or Run to Win Campaigns target across the state will focus on legislative, county, and local races that Democrats have a strong chance to flip or ones that Democrats must hold.
Additional staff will be hired and trained by Run to Win Campaigns to help candidates across the state engage their voters and reach out to their communities.
For Ryder, the key to long-term success is to play to win and achieve victory step by step and one race at a time. While winning is the overall goal, it is always essential to “move forward” and “move the ball down the field” to permanent Democratic influence.
Please visit their website at https://RunToWinCampaigns.org for more information.
Featured Image of Run to Win Campaigns Head Jon Ryder with Speaker Nancy Pelosi