PHOENIX — Brian Anderson, who formerly worked at the governor’s office as press secretary and researcher, has launched The Saguaro Group, a new opposition research firm whose opening is timed for the 2018 election cycle.

Anderson said his new opposition research firm will focus primarily on work for paying clients, but he’s looking to provide information for the Republican world at large as well.

“Our main goal will be to give legislators and even advocacy organizations a kind of central place that they can go to for research to help shape policy debates that they care about as they happen,” Anderson said.

While the GOP has been ahead of the curve over the last few years on polling, data and ground games, Anderson said it needs better research and rapid response capabilities.

Anderson said Democrats have excelled at bloodying Republicans on policy debates, even when voters agree with the GOP side. He used last year’s teacher certification bill, as an example.

“I think a lot of Democrats in the Legislature pretended like this bill was the end of the world, when in fact it had a lot of positive results,” said Anderson, who left the governor’s office in September.

Prior to joining the Ducey administration, Anderson worked for Freedom Partners, a conservative nonprofit that’s part of the Koch network, where he did political research and spent a lot of his time working for the group’s super PAC.

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