Marcella Gambino began her political career as a member of the Excalbia Liberal Party (LP). She held a number of locally election positions before moving to the Imperial Senate in the late 1980's. As a Senator, Gambino was frustrated by her party's electoral weakness at the national level and her own inability to join the party's leadership. She came to believe that the party had become a prisoner of its own ideology and of its graying leadership.
At the same time, Progressive Conservative Senator Oliver Green had grown concerned about his party's complacency. He worried that the party was too closely linked to the interests of the aristocracy and the Sword. Green bolted from the Progressive Conservative Party and formed the Reform Party (RP).
While the RP attracted little interest from Green's fellow Progressive Conservatives, Gambino saw the new party as an opportunity to break away from the Liberals and their stifling leadership. She announced her resignation from the LP and promptly joined Green's RP.
A handful of LP senators followed Gambino to the new Reform Party. Together, they were able to pull the party away from its initial commitment to low taxes, free trade and business promotion. While the party continued to support "sensible economic policies," including fiscal restraint, free trade and economic growth, it now advocating steering growth towards lagging sectors and disadvantaged communities. It also advocated progressive taxation and limited expansion of social protections, including institution of a national heath plan. Despite changes in its position on economics, the party continued to advocate systemic reform to weaken the powers of the Emperor and enhance those of the Senate and local officials.
Under their joint leadership, Green and Gambino led the Reform Party to huge gains in the 1990s, making it the largest opposition party in the Senate. In the 2005 elections, however, the party suffered from its own success as both the Freedom Party (FP) and the Liberal Party borrowed significant portions of the party's platform. This sent enough former RP voters to the right-wing FP and the left-wing LP to cut the party's number of senators in half. These losses, which include party founder Green's electoral defeat, came despite the party's best ever national showing. Despite a large number of votes across the nation, in many districts the RP ran second to either the FP or LP, causing it to lose seats.
Ironically, after losing so many seats, the FP found itself invited to join the new coalition government led by the Liberals. After joining the coalition, Gambino was named Minister of the Treasury.
In late 2005, the Emperor suffered a severe heart attack leading to conflict between the Imperial Senate, the Imperial Household and barons over the regency and succession to the Sword. When that conflict led to a failed attempt by members of the Imperial Household to close the Senate and an equally disastrous attempt by the barons to replace the Emperor with his cousin, the government of Lady Jessica Tagaarth collapsed.
In the aftermath of the chaos, a national unity government was formed by the Progressive Conservatives, Liberals, Freedom Party and Christian Union. While several members of the Reform Party wished to join the new government, Gambino refused to cooperate. Although she formally resigned her position as party leader, she remained enough of a force behind the scenes to keep the party out of the new coalition. As a result, several party members resigned to join the coalition as independents.
Gambino has been married since 1976 to Alfredo Gambino a prominent, though reclusive, businessman. Many have speculated that Gambino's husband keeps a low profile due to rumours about illicit business deals. Others believe it is because he disagrees with his wife's politics. While Gambino is a high-profile member of the Catholic Church, her husband has never been seen with her in Church. This has recently fueled speculation that he may be a member of the Order of the Invisible Hand.