Former Auditor General Jack Wagner announced his Pittsburgh mayoral campaign staff Thursday.
“I believe you can judge a leader by the people with whom he surrounds himself, and I know these folks are some of the best professionals in the business,” Wagner said.
Having joined the race only a few weeks ago, Wagner is playing catchup with his top rivals. City Controller Michael Lamb and City Councilman Bill Peduto put together their teams in December in January. As did Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who announced in February that he would not seek re-election.
Here are the staff and consultants bios are from the campaign:
Campaign Manager: Henry de Koninck is a national award winning political consultant and campaign manager. In 2012, Henry played a pivotal role in two decisive congressional victories including serving as campaign manager for Congresswoman Nita Lowey. Henry’s work on the Montclair, New Jersey mayoral race garnered national press in the New York Times and won a Stanley F. Reed award for excellence in campaigning. Henry has worked in New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, and across New Jersey, and on local, state, and federal races.
Communications Director: J.J. Abbott was named a “Rising Star” in 2012 by PoliticsPA.com. Most recently, Abbott served as Communications Director for the Allegheny County Controller. Before that, he was the Campaign Manager for Chelsa Wagner’s resounding victories in contested primary and general election campaigns for Allegheny County Controller. Previously, he served as Press Secretary for Jack Wagner for Governor and as personal aide and Social Media Coordinator for Congressman Joe Sestak during his campaign for U.S. Senate.
Field Director: Shelia Healy worked as a Field Organizer for Barack Obama in 2008 in Pittsburgh, among other important battleground areas. She returns to town to build a strong, modern field program. Most recently, she coordinated logistics for the Presidential Inaugural Committee after serving as a Regional Field Director for the President’s campaign in Florida. Prior to that, she has worked for a variety of Democratic and progressive causes and organizations, including the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center.
Pollster: Jefrey Pollock of Global Strategy Group is one of the preeminent Democraticc pollsters. Pollock leads Global Strategy Group’s research practice. In the 2012 election, Pollock and Global Strategy Group did research for Priorities USA Action and over 20 successful U.S. House campaigns. More locally, they served as pollster to the successful campaigns of Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner in the 2011 election. They have worked for political and corporate clients at all levels and maintain a reputation for guiding the strategy for winning elections.
Media Consultants: Bronstein & Weaver are among the fastest rising political media and targeting consulting firms in Pennsylvania. Michael Bronstein and Matthew Weaver have both won a number of prominent political campaign awards in recent years. They were named to Campaigns & Elections magazine’s “Influencers 500” list in 2013 and both have been called “rising stars” by the magazine in recent years. Bronstein was also named to the political “Dream Team” by the American Association of Political Consultants. They have done Mail, Television, and targeting for races across the East Coast. Recently, they have done local media work for the campaigns of Controller Chelsa Wagner, Councilman Corey O’Connor, and State Senator Tim Solobay.