Paired with Carville
An enthusiastic Maria Cino, president and CEO of the 2008 Republican National Convention, rushed back “home” from Minneapolis to headline the annual membership reception of the Commonwealth Republican Women’s Club (CRWC), held at the Alexandria Lyceum.
Miss Cino, a longtime Republican Party strategist who until recently was acting secretary of Transportation, told the packed audience that she had always claimed Buffalo, N.Y., as her home until a recent visit by her mother, who pointed out that she has now spent half of her life in the Washington area, and it was time she called it “home.”
The GOP convention chairman said she was 12 years old when she got her start in politics, knocking on doors in Buffalo in support of Republican candidates. Not surprisingly, she grew up to be deputy chairman and chief operating officer of the Republican National Committee, national political director for George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign, executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee, and chief of staff to then-New York Rep. Bill Paxon.
When asked how to break through the Democratic stronghold in Alexandria, where there are currently no elected Republicans, Miss Cino encouraged CRWC’s members, led by president Leslie Anderson, to either keep knocking on doors, or else get as many Republican friends as possible to move to the city.
Miss Cino said she personally tried that strategy by getting Republican operative Mary Matalin to move next door to her in Old Town, which almost worked, until her Democratic husband, James Carville, came along, too.