Leticia Van de Putte smiles during an interview at her headquarters. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

Political strategist and consultant Christian Archer, who ran winning mayoral campaigns for former Mayors Phil Hardberger and Julián Castro and more recently for the successful re-election of Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, has been hired as the new director of the Leticia Van de Putte for Mayor campaign.

Christian Archer
Christian Archer

“I am going to be managing the campaign, I wasn’t expecting to do it, but I am,” Archer said in a late Friday afternoon interview. “Leticia and I have been friends for a long time. I was pretty open before the campaign started that if I was going to be involved in the race it would be with her. I am proud to lend my hand in the effort. She was a very good senator and she will be a very good mayor.”

The announcement comes amid some political buzz about concerns from her major supporters that the Van de Putte campaign was lagging, and that the use of campaign staff hired to manage her unsuccessful lieutenant governor’s race last year was hurting her effort.

“I don’t think the campaign is in trouble,” Archer said Friday. “After running some big races here in San Antonio, I think I have a unique skill set to understand voters in municipal elections. Just like any campaign, there will be changes, but nothing dramatic. Leticia needs a local team leader, someone with their finger on the local pulse.”

Archer said everyone in the Van de Putte camp was pleased with her on-stage performance Wednesday in the first mayoral forum that featured all four mayoral candidates, sponsored by the Austin-San Antonio Corridor Council and Lone Star Rail. The four candidates – Van de Putte, Mayor Ivy Taylor, former state Rep. Mike Villarreal and former County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson – presented their respective views on short-term and long-term local and regional transportation policies and initiatives.

(Read more: Four Mayoral Candidates Share Stage For the First Time.)

Archer is one of three partners in Adelante Strategy Group, a national and statewide political consulting group. He managed successful campaigns for the two largest bond referendums in San Antonio’s history – a $550 million bond program in 2007 and the $596 million bond program in 2012 – in addition to the referendums for City Council term limit expansions in 2008 and Mayor Castro’s Pre-K 4 SA 1/8 cent sales tax increase in 2012. Ironically, Archer lives with his wife, Catherine and their three children outside the city in New Braunfels, but in the eyes of San Antonio’s political establishment, he’s a local.

“He’s a good choice at this juncture,” said Judge Wolff. “Leticia was relying on people outside the city and this will give her someone who knows campaigns and also knows City Hall issues as well as anyone knows them. This move should take the campaign to the next level.”

*Featured/top image: Leticia Van de Putte smiles during an interview at her campaign headquarters. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

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Robert Rivard

Robert Rivard

Robert Rivard is editor and publisher of the San Antonio Report.