Scott Rials

You have to admire Scott Rials. He’s quickly becoming one of the top campaign fixers in the state. He guided Sonny Perdue to victory in 2002. Then he had a stint at the party. Then, rumor had it, he was off to Gary Black’s campaign for Ag, and now he’s been sent to revitalize Kathy Cox’s campaign for Secretary of Education.

Rials is low key — he doesn’t have the same affect on people like someone such as Tom Perdue. He is loyal and he does good work. In short, Rials is very much a typically good Republican consultant. I have a theory of consultants that Rials fits in to. At the upper echelons of campaign consulting there are two types. The first type is the glory hound who likes to get in print. The second type is the behind the scenes guy who never wants to overshadow his boss. Thus far Rials fits into the second camp and, I’m more and more concluding, there are a lot more Republican consultants in the second camp than Democrat consultants.

2006 is going to be a good test for Rials. Already I’m hearing from a number of Republican legislators in both Houses — and by numbers I would say about a dozen total — that the GOP stands a better chance of keeping the General Assembly than winning any statewide races. Wow. That’s one heck of a thing to be thinking. With Rials actively participating in three statewide races, he is going to need all the help he can get and energy he can muster. If he pulls off some victories in these races, we can obviously expect his stock to go way up.