This results-oriented team uses experience and diligence to successfully interact with the state legislature and relevant Texas agencies.




  • Russell T. Kelley


  • Carol McGarah

    Chief Executive Officer

  • Sara Kemptner-Sachde

    Chief Operating Officer

  • Russell T. Kelley

    Rusty Kelley has represented the business interests of Fortune 500 companies, various associations and other organizations before state legislators, regulators, or other elected officials for more than 30 years. He is regarded as a leader and an innovator in his field, and has been noted in publications such as Texas Monthly, San-Antonio-Express-News, and Capitol Inside for his dedication, intelligence, and character.

    In addition to receiving several awards, Kelley was featured in Practicing Texas Politics, a text book that outlines government in the state. In this text, Kelley is highlighted for his “hard work,” “charm and congeniality,” and for presenting the facts in a “straightforward, honest manner.” More recently, Texas Monthly named Kelley one of “The 25 Most Influential People in the State of Texas.”

    Kelley is a highly effective player in state politics. He is consistently sought after to be involved in all major pieces of legislation during each legislative session.

    Kelley has worked in politics since he was 20 years old, and has seen the power change party hands numerous times. Throughout the years he has employed the use of effective technology and has developed numerous legislative strategies that allow him to consistently produce desired results.

    Prior to lobbying, he served as Chief of Staff of the Office of the Speaker of the House, and served as Chief Sergeant at Arms in the Texas House of Representatives.

    Carol McGarah

    Carol McGarah has worked with Rusty Kelley in Austin, Texas since 2001. She represents several Fortune 500 companies and is well-known and regarded for her experience and knowledge of various topics including: education, energy, environmental issues, financial institutions, IT, and transportation.

    Previously, McGarah served as the Committee Director of the powerful Senate Natural Resources Committee. During her 10 years with this committee she established solid relationships with key members of the legislature and various environmental agencies, and developed a thorough knowledge of Texas’ air, water, and waste issues.

    McGarah dedicated countless hours to the preparation and passage of groundbreaking pieces of legislation, including Senate Bill 1 in 1997 and Senate Bill 2 in 2001. Both of these bills dealt with state water management measures and greatly impacted the state.

    McGarah was also instrumental in the development and passage of SB 5 in the 75th Legislature, which created the Texas Emissions Reduction Program. This program has served as a model for numerous other states across the country, and has been a vital component in assisting Texas meet the Federal Air Quality Standards.

    Sara Kemptner-Sachde

    Sara Sachde has two decades of experience in Texas government with a focus on education, criminal justice, energy, environmental, finance, general business, tax, technology and transportation issues.

    Prior to joining Blackridge, Sachde held positions at Public Strategies, the office of Senator Kip Averitt, and the office of Representative Larry Phillips.

    She holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School at the University of Texas at Austin.

  • Micah Rodriguez

    General Counsel

  • Stacey Widner

    Office Manager

  • Holly Mabry McCoy

  • Micah Rodriguez

    Micah Rodriguez first began his political career in 2003 as a Gregory Luna Memorial Legislative Scholar and currently works at Blackridge as Legislative Consultant and Legal Counsel. Throughout his tenure working in and around Texas politics, Micah has obtained extensive experience in numerous public policy topics ranging from finance to education and immigration to jurisprudence, with the heaviest emphasis on health and human services. In addition to subject matter expertise, through his work in the Texas Legislature, Micah has cultivated an expansive professional network in all areas of state government.

    Before starting with Blackridge, Micah first worked as a legislative aide for Senator John Whitmire and later as the Senior Policy Analyst covering the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services for Senator Carlos I. Uresti.

    Born and raised in Texas, Micah earned his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin where he also minored in Economics and Mexican American Studies. He later went on to obtain his Juris Doctor from The University of Texas School of Law and is currently a licensed attorney in the state of Texas.

    Stacey Widner

    Stacey Widner serves as Office Manager at Blackridge. As a 6th generation

    Texan, Stacey has held positions with Fortune 500 companies in various

    industries throughout the state. Upon graduation from Stephen F. Austin

    State University, with a BS in Business Administration and a Texas teaching

    certificate, she worked in the sales industry for Atlas Roofing Corp. and

    Coca-Cola North America for more than 14 years.

    She later spent nine years as a classroom teacher and after earning her

    Master’s Degree in School Counseling, transitioned to school counselor for

    five years.

    Her diverse background it allowed her to gain insight, experience, and

    valuable relationship building skills.

    Stacey and her husband Mike reside in Bastrop with their two sons, Brock

    and Cole.

    Holly Mabry McCoy

    Holly Mabry McCoy, a 5th generation Texan, earned her BFA from Texas Tech

    University in Design Communication. Holly began her career as an assistant

    clerk and later committee clerk for the Senate Committee on Education under

    the chairmanships of State Senators Florence Shapiro, Dan Patrick and Larry


    In this role for almost a decade, Holly advised the chairs on procedural

    matters ensuring committee and Senate rules were in order during committee

    hearings. In addition, she clerked session subcommittees and interim select

    committees including: The Select Committee on Public School Accountability,

    Select Committee on Public School Finance Weights, Allotments &

    Adjustments, and The Joint Interim Committee to Study the Public School

    Finance System. While organizing hearings in Austin and across the state,

    Holly collaborated with legislators, appointed members, agencies and staff

    to execute efficient hearings.

    Most recently, Holly worked for Texas Aspires and in February 2022, after

    more than a decade in the Texas Legislative arena, Holly joined the team at