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Clint Reilly on the Matsui campaign and its effect on his political consulting career.

One of several TV ads from the 1978 Matsui Campaign.

(left) Front page of campaign flyer from the first Matsui for Congress.

In 1978, Robert Matsui, then a city councilman in Sacramento, decided to run for Congress and hired Reilly. At the start of the campaign, Matsui was an underdog candidate with only 2% support in the polls vs. the Mayor of Sacramento who had 30%, and a popular local State Assemblyman who 35%. Reilly's skilled management of the campaign caught the attention of state leaders and Democratic Party insiders in the state capital as Matsui surged from 2% in the polls to a win. Congressman Robert Matsui, a Japanese American who was interred with his family in World War II, later worked to pass the historic legislation compensating Japanese Americans unjustly interred during the war. Rep. Matsui was chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and a senior member of Congress until his passing in 2005. Doris Matsui, his wife, now serves: