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Gray's campaign manager in D.C. mayor's race has unexpected background

Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) is taking an unorthodox approach when it comes to his choice for a campaign manager for his mayoral race.

Many campaigns managers have extensive previous political experience, using each win or loss in the trenches to refine their skills. But Gray selected Adam Rubinson, who last managed a campaign 20 years ago when he worked for U.S. Rep. Nita Lowery (D-NY).

Rubinson, 48, is giving up a job at Deloitte Consulting to spend the next five months trying help Gray defeat Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D). Prior to his consulting job, Rubinson was deputy chief technology officer for former Mayor Anthony Williams (D).

Rubinson said he first met Gray four years ago when Gray was a candidate for council chairman. A self-described local political junkie, Rubinson would watch Gray, who was then a Ward 7 council member, on the local government access channel.

And Rubinson, who lives in Tenleytown, says he couldn't stop watching.

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"I was one of those Channel 13 junkies and I always admired him," Rubinson said of Gray. "My dad was inspired by John Kennedy and I am inspired by Barack Obama and Vince Gray."

In 2006, Rubinson contacted Gray and told him he and his wife wanted to hold a "meet and greet" at their home for him.

"I hadn't even met him before," Rubinson said. "I was one of the first people in Ward 3 to do an event for him."

The two men become friends. In a speech to supporters Wednesday night, Gray called Rubinson "incredibly bright" and a "dedicated, hard-working man."

Rubinson acknowledges he never expected to be managing Gray's campaign. During a meeting three weeks ago at the Marriott Hotel downtown, Rubinson said Gray unexpectedly made the offer.

'We started talking political strategy and he found out I had managed a campaign before," Rubinson said. "And it was rather to my surprise he then asked me to be his campaign manager."

When asked if he's up to the job, Rubinson noted he's managed projects and programs with budgets of "tens and tens of millions of dollars." Under Williams, Rubinson developed the portal and managed numerous other big projects, including the creation of Citywide Geographic Informational System.

"I have managed people and projects and I have written campaign plans," said Rubinson, who is also an attorney. "Everything I have done my whole life has prepared me to run a campaign."

--Tim Craig

By Tim Craig  |  April 26, 2010; 11:03 AM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election , Mayor Fenty , Tim Craig , Vincent C. Gray  | Tags: Adrian Fenty, Vincent C. Gray  
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Adam is sharp, and has the unique gift to understand the big picture and respect the value of the details.

Kudos Vince Gray

Posted by: gordonbundy | April 26, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

This was not a good first move by Chairman Gray to appoint a political novice to learn on the job training for an uphill battle against a junk yard dog, maser fenty. He doesn't know the political folks and can only relate to book writings to figure out the political folks in the 8 wards of this city. They dont relate well to outsiders with no knowledge of their contributions in their communities. For the city's sake, let's hope this selection is not a fatal self inflicted wound for his campaign.

Posted by: bill121 | April 26, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

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