Chris Russell

Chris Russell

Founder, Checkmate Strategies

Twitter: @ChrisRussell_NJ


Since launching his original business, CHRIS RUSSELL CONSULTING, in 2009, Chris has a proven track record of winning tough races.

Lead strategist and direct mail consultant for Rep. Tom MacArthur (NJ-3) in 2014, helping guide him through a competitive primary and general election in one of the DCCC’s early top national targets and the nation’s most expensive open-seat race. In 2016, we helped the Congressman romp to victory with over 60% of the vote.

Lead strategist and direct mail consultant for former Rep. Jon Runyan’s (NJ-3) first campaign in 2010, when he became the first challenger in 12 years to defeat an incumbent Member of Congress in New Jersey. Then helped Rep. Runyan win re-election in 2012, becoming 1 of just 17 Republicans nationally to win a district Obama also won.

Guided the campaign that helped Republicans notch their only pick-up in the New Jersey State Assembly in 2013, defeating a longtime incumbent in South Jersey.

Produced creative, hard-hitting direct mail for two targeted State House races in North Carolina, helping to earn victories in HD3 and HD49, with the latter being the only GOP pickup in a district that newly-elected GOP U.S. Senator Thom Tillis lost.

Managed the campaign and produced the direct mail for a Philadelphia-based mall owner and a local grassroots citizens group that overturned a century-old ban on liquor sales in a southern New Jersey suburb of Philadelphia.

Produced the direct mail for New Hampshire Executive Councilor Joe Kenney, who scored an upset victory in a March 2014 special election.

In 2015, helped first-time candidates Kate Gibbs and Ryan Peters knock off two Democratic incumbent County Freeholders in a county that President Obama handily won twice and where Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly 30,000.

In 2016, served as the direct mail consultant for Congressman-elect John Faso (NY-19) and helped him score decisive victories in both a competitive primary and general election for an open house seat targeted by both parties and independent groups.

In 2016, served as a consultant and guided the direct mail efforts in three competitive New Jersey countywide races, and swept all three despite being drastically outspent in one and overcoming Hillary Clinton winning the other two by a double-digit margin.

In 2017, served as campaign and direct mail consultant for State Assemblyman Chris Brown, who convincingly won an open State Senate seat previously held by the Democrats – the only Republican pickup in the entire State.

A 1995 graduate of Temple University, Chris has won a combined 29 (and counting) Pollie Awards from the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) and Reed Awards from Campaigns & Elections Magazine for his creative work. He also took home the coveted “Rising Star” Award from Campaigns & Elections Magazine in 2008 as one of the Top 25 political professionals under the age of 35.

Chris serves as a strategic advisor to Members of Congress, Republican organizations, state legislators, and elected officials on the county and local level. He also advises corporations and issue advocacy groups in New Jersey, as well as nationally and internationally.

Chris currently serves as Chairman of the Temple University Political Science Alumni Advisory Board and as a Member of the Owl Club Board of Directors at his alma mater. Chris has consistently been named one of New Jersey’s top Republican consultants by both The Observer ( and InsiderNJ, as well as regularly appearing as a guest analyst on programs like NJTV’s On the Record and News 12 New Jersey’s Power & Politics.

Chris lives with his wife, Michelle, and daughters Emma and Alyssa, in Jackson, NJ.

Together, they founded the Caitlin Elizabeth Russell Foundation in 2006 in honor of their firstborn daughter, who passed away from complications of premature birth at the age of 4 months. Since its inception, Caitlin’s Foundation has raised more than a half-million dollars to help premature babies and their families.

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