Democratic Governors Association alum brings West Coast political firm to D.C.

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Marshall Cohen, who most recently led the Democratic Governors Association as political director, is joining KMM Strategies as a partner and opening its first D.C. office.

Why it matters: The West Coast-based political media firm works with several Democrats who will be in highly competitive races in 2024 — including Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) — and in red states where Cohen has spent the last decade helping Democrats make unlikely gains for the DGA.

The backdrop: Democrats are defending numerous seats in red and purple states next cycle that could decide control of the Senate and chip away at the party’s gubernatorial gains in 2022.

  • KMM Strategies’ D.C. office will help broaden their footprint across the party, Cohen told Axios, while showcasing the victories they’ve helped achieve so far.

Zoom in: As political director of the DGA, Cohen oversaw 36 races in 2022 and ended the cycle with the best midterm gubernatorial outcome for the president's party since 1986.

  • Cohen has developed a record of winning in tough environments, delivering the governorship for Democrats in Kentucky and Louisiana in 2019; defending North Carolina in 2020; and beating expectations in 2022 with wins in Kansas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Arizona.

Details: At KMM, Cohen will be working with candidates and campaigns daily on high-level political strategy while also advising on budgets and communications.

  • KMM is known for telling candidates’ stories in creative and compelling ways, which Cohen said is how they‘ve managed to connect best with voters in otherwise tough territory.
  • The firm's powerful clients include Senate President Pro Tempore Patty Murray (D-Wash.), House Democratic Caucus chair Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), and Congressional Black Caucus whip Rep. Marilyn Strickland (D-Wash.).

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