Jay McCleskey has worked in New Mexico as a political media and political strategist for years. He got his start by working on local Republican Party races. He was a rising star soon, working on more important races. He helped to unseat a thirty year incumbent of the New Mexico House of Representatives who also happened to be the longest serving Speaker of the House at that time. He learned a great deal about how New Mexico politics worked and the political climate of the time. Jay McCleskey has since then worked on races both inside and outside of the state. Jay McCleskey's reputation within the Republican Party rose steadily and he was soon working on campaigns of national importance. This included working on statewide campaigns and on regional or national operations as well.
Jay McCleskey served as the Executive Director of the Republican Party of New Mexico eventually. It was in 2004 that he led a Republican National Committee operation in New Mexico designed to help re-elect then-President George W. Bush. The effort was seen as a success, with New Mexico flipping from blue to red that year, due in part to the coordinated effort being led by Jay McCleskey. For four years, starting in 2005 and ending in 2009, Jay McCleskey worked as a Regional Political Director with the RNC. He guided RNC operations in several states and helped out with dozens of campaigns during that time. In 2009 was he a part of the campaign that elected the first Republican Mayor of Albuquerque in over twenty-five years. In 2010, he was lead counsel for the Susana Martinez for Governor campaign. Upon winning, Susana Martinez became the first female Hispanic governor in the United States.