Ryan Sanford

Coordinator, Sampling / BBQ Princess of the South

Ryan’s passion for politics started with her father Paul Sanford’s stunning upset in 2010 that helped Republicans take control of the Alabama Legislature for the first time in 136 years. Ryan currently serves as a founding partner at Arete Consulting, a full-service political and business consulting firm that helps find solutions for campaigns, political action committees, independent expenditure organizations, associations, businesses, and non-profits. A veteran of many political campaigns ranging from local, statewide, and federal; Ryan has seen scenarios of all sizes and understands that each election requires a unique strategy to win. Her experience as a successful general consultant provides additional insight and the ability to translate polling results into effective campaign strategies to keep our clients on the right path to victory. First joining Cygnal during the hectic 2020 election cycle, Ryan dove in headfirst to learn the innovative and successful methodology that our team deploys. As a Sampling Coordinator, Ryan learned the back-end of polling and sharpened her targeting skills even further than before. After the cycle, Ryan returned to her consulting work in Alabama by growing her client list, improving her understanding, and executing what was referred to as “the perfect campaign” in a heated 7-person race where her firm was able to prevent a run-off election with a landslide margin. Ryan is back with new responsibilities of leading polling projects, providing insightful breakdowns of results for clients, and how they can best apply them to a victorious campaign strategy.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…
If you were born with the ability to change someone's perspective or emotions, never waste that gift. It is one of the most powerful gifts one may have — the ability to influence.

Do you have any skills or talents that people don’t know about?
I can perfectly rap Eminem’s crowd favorite “Rap God” thanks to a long night at the library in college when I should’ve been writing a 30-page paper.

If I were a superhero, my superpower would be…
Probably mind control/persuasion so I could navigate difficult scenarios with ease and help productivity within disagreements… and of course, because it would make picking dinner much easier in a group lol.

What was your first job?
My first job (and no surprise to friends and family) was at my parents’ barbecue restaurant, Little Paul’s Barbecue. My parents wasted no time in teaching me the tricks of the trade to our secret family recipe and (of course) putting me on dishwashing duty. I’m just lucky to have a lifetime supply of the famous white barbecue sauce that everyone loves!