Meet the political consultants and staffers who will work to win Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (D-Montco) the Democratic nomination and governorship.
Her campaign announced this list Tuesday morning. Numbers 5-8 had already been announced.
1. Rich Davis, Dixon/Davis Media Group
Dixon/Davis Media Group (DDMG) partner Rich Davis has worked with Allyson Schwartz for nearly fourteen years, including her 2004 Democratic primary and general election victories in what had been one of Pennsylvania’s most competitive Congressional districts. DDMG served as members of the Obama Media Team in both 2008 and 2012. The firm’s clients include Governors Martin O’Malley, Maggie Hassan, and Kathleen Sebelius and U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill, Kirsten Gillibrand, Debbie Stabenow, Kay Hagan, Mazie Hirono, Mark Udall, Jeff Merkley, and Brian Schatz.
2. Pete Brodnitz, Benenson Strategy Group
Pete Brodnitz brings more than two decades of research experience to the team. Brodnitz has provided strategic polling services to then Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia, six U.S. Senators, and 12 presidents and prime ministers on four continents. In 2007, the American Association of Political Consultants named Pete “Pollster of the Year” for his work on two upset victories in Virginia – Gov. Tim Kaine in 2005 and Sen. Jim Webb in 2006 – that helped redefine Virginia from politically “red” to “purple.” Pete and his team worked with PA’s Kathleen Kane to win an upset victory in the 2012 Democratic primary, and go on to be the state’s first ever female Attorney General.
3. Ed Peavy, Adnaan Muslim, Mark Bergman, Mission Control Inc.
One of the country’s best Democratic mail firms, Mission Control has extensive experience winning in Pennsylvania and winning statewide elections around the country. The firm’s clients include Governors Andrew Cuomo, Maggie Hassan (the only female Democratic Governor in the country) and Jay Nixon, as well as Senators Dick Blumenthal, Sherrod Brown, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kay Hagan, Martin Heinrich and Elizabeth Warren, among others. Mission Control has worked with Schwartz since 2004.
4. Rachel Hirschberg, President, Berger Hirschberg Strategies
Rachel Hirschberg is a top-rated political operative who has worked to produce winning fundraising strategies for numerous political candidates and advocacy organizations. Rachel is a veteran of five presidential campaigns and has worked for the Democratic National Committee. Her 20 years of high-level political and fundraising experience and her extensive personal relationships throughout the core of the Democratic Party enable her to increase her client’s ability to raise financial capital. Rachel previously served as Vice President of Development and Senior Advisor to the New Democrat Network (NDN). Other clients include, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor Jay Inslee, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Dan Onorato for Governor, EMILY’s List, the Democratic Governors Association, and numerous Democratic state parties.
5. Pat Millham, Senior Advisor
Pennsylvania political veteran Pat Millham comes to the Schwartz team after serving as OFA-PA’s Political Director, where he and his team mobilized elected officials, labor organizations, and other constituency groups to elect President Obama. Millham started his political career during John Kerry’s campaign in 2004, and went on to organize field operations as Regional Director for Governor Rendell’s 2006 campaign, Field Director for Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s 2007 campaign, and Statewide Field and Political Director for Dan Onorato’s 2010 campaign. Under Pat’s direction, Pittsburgh voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot initiative to provide long term sustainable funding for the Carnegie Library in 2011. He was named one of PoliticsPA’s “Top 30 Under 30.”
6. Aubrey Montgomery, Finance Director
Aubrey Montgomery has worked on dozens of local, state, and federal races throughout the country, as well as several political issue campaigns. Aubrey’s previous campaigns include State Senator Daylin Leach, the Pennsylvania State Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, and Bryan Lentz’s top targeted campaign for Congress. Aubrey, a Philadelphia native, most recently left the position of Finance Director for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party after overseeing nearly $20 million dollars in revenue during her tenure. Aubrey serves [as a national trainer] for Democracy for America, [on the faculty of] the Center for Progressive Leadership, and is a frequent fundraising trainer for the Chatham University Center for Women in Politics, the New Leaders Council, and local Democratic committees. She has twice been named as one of PoliticsPA’s “Top 30 Under 30.”
7. Reesa Kossoff, Communications Director
Battle tested campaign communicator Reesa Kossoff is a veteran of numerous high profile, nationally targeted statewide races. In her most recent role as Director of Regional Press for President Obama’s Ohio operation, Kossoff was credited with creating the statewide earned media strategy that turned President Obama’s rescue of the auto industry into defining issue of his 2012 victory in the key battleground state. Kossoff, who originally hails from Bucks County, has also served in front line communications roles on high profile gubernatorial races in Ohio and Washington State. She has handled press relations for various Democratic-allied organizations in the women’s advocacy and labor communities.
8. Neil Deegan, Political Director
Neil Deegan is a Schwartz veteran of six years, and is respected for both his fundraising skill and political experience. Neil joined Schwartz’s political staff in 2006, and served as deputy finance director for her 2008 re-election campaign. Since 2009, he has served as a senior member of the Congresswoman’s political team, handling finance and political operations. In addition to his work with Schwartz, Neil has advised a number of political candidates in southeastern Pennsylvania. He is a native of Northeast Philadelphia and alum of Temple University.
9. Erin Gorman, Deputy Finance Director – National Fundraising
Erin Gorman comes to the campaign after two successful cycles helping to elect Democratic governors in Maryland and across the country at the Democratic Governors Association. Erin joined the DGA in early 2011, quickly joining the finance operation and serving as the liaison to all twenty two Democratic Governors through the end of the cycle. Over the cycle the DGA raised a historic $56 million and won the most competitive gubernatorial races in the country. Erin spent the 2010 cycle as the Fundraising Events Director and Finance Associate on a team that raised over $15 million to re-elect Governor O’Malley in Maryland.
Brad, you have to be kidding all of us. If Schwartz is vulnerable, it is in the primary. She won’t be able to run up the margin of victory in Philly like all elected Democrats have to do.
As far as the general goes, it is “Anyone but Corbett” (ABC). There are plenty of Republicans that I know who vote for a Democrat once every 5 years who say they will use their “Democrat exception” and vote against Corbett.
Here is a thought – I hope all of those donors are happy with the money they are dropping for her to have this inflated staff. As much as she is bringing in she will need to shell out to pay these people, who are NOT cheap. But I have to giver her kudos, smart move to bring on highly paid people like this when you know you are not popular, are a weak politician and have no real sense of what Pennsylvanians want since she was in DC for the past decade. She will win the primary. But that is it. We all know she cannot survive the general election.
over here in allegheny county schwartz will do well i know alot of people on board already.after corbett a female governor is just what the doctor ordered.
If I have said this once, I have said this before. Schwartz/Sestak/McCord are tier one. Wolf is tier 1b. Everyone else is just trying to survive.
The major dynamic which no one is talking about is how “Philly WON’T decide the Gov primary”! Yes, I said it…. WON’T! With Schwartz/Sestak/McCord splitting up Philly and its suburbs, the question becomes who can win the rest of the state. This primary won’t have the dynamic of “run up the score in Philly and its suburbs”.
As far as the rest of the state goes, you have Sestak/McCord and Wolf appealing to the blue dog/ new deal dems.
I don’t hear much of the “We must elect a woman so elect Schwartz talk”. If she is to win, we will need to hear that!
Having them work just a few hours a week–at any stage–while on payroll would make them bad investments. Again, campaigns are not 9-5 gigs, no matter the race or candidate. Each of them is making somewhere in the neighborhood of $5k/mo salary. If you’re paying someone $60k a year or more on a potential 16 month long campaign, you’re going to want them to produce something for that every month,
Given that she’s a member of Congress with low name recognition and lots of money, it makes sense that she’d want to start building political infrastructure now, while the field is still forming. That way, she gets to both increase name recognition and define herself before her opponents in the primary do.
Not quite sure why people in PA consider campaigns like Onorato’s gubernatorial bid and OFA-PA to be material for CV highlights, though. . .
Sounds like a lot of Chiefs, and not enough Indians. This seems very top-heavy for a campaign that won’t be spending any money on advertising, mailings, etc. until after December. Other than insiders and the political junkies on sites like PoliticsPA, the governor’s race is too far away for much attention by the voting public.
The fundraising staff make the most sense. And, someone has to hunt down/schedule local political events/dinners/etc. for Schwartz to show up at.
Most of the others seem rather premature, if they are working more than a few hours a week this early in the campaign.
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