Running for elected office is like launching a startup. Besides hiring staff and recruiting volunteers, campaigns enlist consultants to craft a political strategy, draft policy positions, create ads, handle communications, raise money, conduct polls, compile voter lists and ensure compliance with rules and regulations – all with the goal of getting out the vote.
In New York, there’s a vibrant ecosystem of consulting firms who assist with these tasks. And there has been plenty of demand for their services this past year, from the presidential, congressional and state legislative elections last fall to the many New York City races this year, including for mayor, comptroller, Manhattan district attorney, Queens and Bronx borough president and New York City Council. The trend of insurgents challenging incumbents is bringing even more candidates into the arena. The downfall of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo has half a dozen or more politicians mulling a run for governor, not least of all his successor, Gov. Kathy Hochul.
That’s why City & State is publishing a Political Consultants Power 75, up from 50. The 2021 list highlights consultants young and old, giving weight both to the track records of experienced veterans and the promise of talented newcomers. The list is largely made up of full-time consultants, although a few informal advisers and others who do political work on the side made the cut. The list features New York-based firms that are largely national in scope, national firms that did significant work in New York and, of course, New York firms who mostly work in their home state.
While compiling such a list is more art than science, City & State assessed performance over the past 12 months, including major wins and losses by clients, consultants’ importance to various campaigns, and the prominence and power of their winning candidates. Congressional and state legislative contests that were essentially won in the primaries last year were factors on last year’s list and are largely omitted here. However, some 2022 races already underway, most notably the gubernatorial race, were factored in.
City & State reached out to each firm on this list to designate its top employees, share its biggest accomplishment over the past year and to highlight its clients, and we’ve filled in any gaps based on our own research and a review of public filings. We’re pleased to present the 2021 Political Consultants Power 75.
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When it comes to driving Democratic candidates to victory, Red Horse Strategies truly has as much horsepower as any consulting firm. Founded over a decade ago, the firm has worked with big-name clients such as Reps. Grace Meng and Nydia Velázquez, Westchester County Executive George Latimer and state Sen. Todd Kaminsky as well as 32BJ SEIU – and, this cycle, New York City Democratic mayoral nominee Eric Adams. The firm is expanding beyond New York, including in Pennsylvania, Florida, California and Washington, D.C.
Key clients: Eric Adams for New York City mayor, Corey Johnson for New York City comptroller, Antonio Reynoso for Brooklyn borough president, Mark Levine for Manhattan borough president, Tali Farhadian Weinstein for Manhattan district attorney; Rafael Salamanca Jr., Carlina Rivera, Francisco Moya, Eric Dinowitz, Crystal Hudson, Jennifer Gutiérrez, Linda Lee, Jenny Low, Austin Shafran, Josué Pierre and Tricia Shimamura for New York City Council
Biggest accomplishment: “Working with Team Adams to help deliver a historic win in the Democratic primary for mayor, helping to shape that narrative and build a truly working class coalition, will always be one of the thrills of our careers. We are deeply proud of our work with new Borough Presidents Antonio Reynoso and Mark Levine, and with our diverse group of council clients. As our national footprint continues to expand, we are always incredibly honored to work with our partners in organized labor, with progressive candidates and organizations across the country and the Be a Hero campaign led by Ady Barkan.”
The Parkside Group has long been a top Democratic consulting firm in the state, known for its work on behalf of the state Senate Democrats who won a majority in 2018 and then seized a veto-proof supermajority last November. The firm, whose election work is masterminded by Harry Giannoulis, also works with many other candidates at the local, state and federal levels.
Key clients: Rep. Tom Suozzi; state Senate candidates Peter Harckham, Samra Brouk, Michelle Hinchey and Jen Metzger; Brian Benjamin for New York City comptroller; New York City Council candidates James Gennaro, Sandra Ung and Shirley Paul; New York State Democratic Senate Campaign Committee
Biggest accomplishment: “As the principal outside strategists for the New York State Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, we helped the conference win a supermajority of seats in the 2020 election cycle. While Democrats suffered critical losses in state legislative races around the country and lost multiple congressional seats in New York, our polling, targeting, mail, TV and digital advertising won crucial Senate races throughout New York state.”
Pythia recently marked its fifth anniversary, and it had some major developments to celebrate. Evan Thies is the lead communications adviser on Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams’ mayoral campaign, while the firm also worked on New York City Council Member Brad Lander’s successful city comptroller bid and Common Cause’s push for ranked-choice voting. The growing firm’s communications director is Becky Stern, who’s working on state Sen. Todd Kaminsky’s campaign for Nassau County district attorney.
Key clients: Eric Adams for New York City mayor, Brad Lander for New York City comptroller, Jimmy Van Bramer for Queens borough president, Todd Kaminsky for state Senate and Nassau County district attorney, Common Cause, Safe Horizon
Biggest accomplishment: “Winning the New York City Democratic mayoral primary (and comptroller primary).”
MirRam Group was a superstar in New York politics long before co-founder Luis Miranda Jr.’s son, Lin-Manuel Miranda, broke through on Broadway with “Hamilton.” But the Latino-led firm now conducts its campaign work through its separate Hamilton Campaign Network, which is led by MirRam Vice President Katharine Pichardo-Erskine. The firm, which often works in communities of color, is consulting for longtime client state Attorney General Letitia James as she mulls a gubernatorial bid.
Key clients: State Attorney General Letitia James, Corey Johnson for New York City comptroller, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, Mark Levine for Manhattan borough president, Robert Cornegy Jr. for Brooklyn borough president; Carmen De La Rosa, Shaun Abreu, Lynn Schulman and Ebony Young for New York City Council; Latino Victory Fund
Biggest accomplishment: “Helping to elect a Democratic president in November 2020 and how that catapulted a number of important wins in the New York City-wide election cycle, particularly electing more people of color and women to the New York City Council.”
Since its launch as a small polling firm over a quarter of a century ago, Global Strategy Group has gone on to elect a who’s who list of Democratic politicians in New York and beyond. Co-founders Jefrey Pollock and Jeffrey Plaut are responsible for the company’s remarkable growth, along with key executives like Nick Gourevitch, who handles much of the firm’s political polling operations. The company has helped elect more than 60 members of Congress, 14 governors and 18 U.S. senators, including U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – which the firm also represents.
Key clients: Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney and Joe Morelle, House candidate Nancy Goroff, Scott Stringer for mayor, Brad Lander for New York City comptroller, Robert Cornegy Jr. for Brooklyn borough president
Biggest accomplishment: “In 2020, GSG helped Democrats reclaim control of the White House and the U.S. Senate while protecting their majority in the U.S. House. Through that, we were proud to serve as polling partners for Priorities USA in their campaign to elect Joe Biden, the Senate Majority PAC on four winning red-to-blue Senate races in Arizona, Colorado and Georgia and conducted polls across over 60 congressional districts nationwide.”
If progressive politics has gone mainstream in New York, then it’s due in part to the efforts of the leading Democratic consulting firm BerlinRosen. Known for its campaign work on behalf of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, the firm has also been a key player on a long list of city and state campaigns – and increasingly on behalf of candidates outside of New York, such as Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams’ New Georgia Project. Co-founder Valerie Berlin heads up the firm’s elections work alongside Alex Navarro-McKay.
Key clients: Brad Lander for New York City comptroller, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran; Elijah Reichlin-Melnick and Sean Ryan for state Senate
Biggest accomplishment: “Brad Lander’s campaign for New York City comptroller. Lander started off 19 points behind the front-runner and ended the Democratic primary nine points ahead – with zero spending advantage. As media consultants for Lander’s come-from-behind campaign, we produced a series of ads for TV and digital platforms that won praise from press and pundits, and we were fortunate to work with … Global Strategy Group, who managed the campaign’s polling and ad testing and let us know that our ads for Brad were the best testing ads they had seen this cycle so far.”
A go-to fundraiser for Democratic candidates in New York, Tucker Green recently took on a new client: Gov. Kathy Hochul, who is looking to secure a full term in office after replacing Andrew Cuomo this year. Green’s growing firm, which has a new 5,000-square-foot office in midtown Manhattan at East 44th Street and Madison Avenue, also has a political advertising and outreach subsidiary called Conscious Voter Contact, which now brings in more revenue than fundraising. The firm has worked for state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan, state Sens. Liz Krueger and Tim Kennedy, Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini and former Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas.
Key clients: Gov. Kathy Hochul, Rep. Kathleen Rice, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Maya Wiley for New York City mayor, Jumaane Williams for New York City public advocate, David Weprin for New York City comptroller, Tali Farhadian Weinstein for Manhattan district attorney; New York City Council candidates Julie Menin and Richard Lee; state Sens. Todd Kaminsky and Kevin Thomas
Biggest accomplishment: “Building out our digital advertising shop and running digital ad campaigns on campaigns across the city and state.”
Tiffany Raspberry has long been an ally and adviser to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who she helped during his successful primary campaign for New York City mayor this cycle. Her lobbying and public affairs firm, Tiffany Raspberry Consulting LLC, was formerly known as YorkGroup Associates LLC, which she launched after stints in the New York City Council and The Parkside Group.
Key client: Eric Adams for New York City mayor
Veteran communications and political strategist Richard Fife has a long history of working with politicians in Harlem, from former state Comptroller Carl McCall and former Gov. David Paterson to state Sen. Robert Jackson and Assembly Member Al Taylor. His latest client, Manhattan district attorney candidate Alvin Bragg, is set to make history as the first Black person to lead the office after emerging from a competitive Democratic primary this summer. Fife also worked on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign in New York.
Key clients: Alvin Bragg for Manhattan district attorney, Johanna Garcia for New York City Council
Biggest accomplishment: “Being the architect and chief strategist for Alvin Bragg's historic Democratic primary victory for Manhattan district attorney, despite being outspent 6-to-1.”
The 21 in ’21 initiative to elect 21 women to the New York City Council was a smashing success, with almost 30 women advancing in the Democratic primary this summer. Amelia Adams, who serves as chair of that initiative, continued with the pro-woman theme by joining the campaign of Gov. Kathy Hochul, the state’s first female governor, as she mounts a bid to win a full term in office next year. Adams has also worked in the past with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council.
Key clients: Gov. Kathy Hochul, Shaun Donovan for New York City mayor
Since founding Seneca Strategies in 2018, Monica Klein has helped usher in a new era in which progressives can run for higher office without establishment backing – and win. Klein played a key role in Tiffany Cabán’s Queens district attorney campaign, nearly propelling her to an upset win over Melinda Katz, which in turn positioned the democratic socialist to win a seat in the New York City Council this cycle. Klein’s woman-owned firm has also worked with former gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon; state Sens. Jessica Ramos, Zellnor Myrie and Julia Salazar; and Rep. Mondaire Jones, who became one of the first openly gay Black members in Congress this year.
Key clients: Invest In Our New York, New York Working Families Party, Strong Economy for All Coalition, New York Caring Majority, Arena
Biggest accomplishment: “Seneca Strategies ran communications strategy for the Invest In Our New York campaign to raise taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers and corporations, hiking taxes on millionaires for the first time in over a decade. The campaign won $4.2 billion in new annual revenue to fund education, housing and health care over strong objections from then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo.”
Mark Guma continued his track record of picking promising progressive candidates to work with and helping to guide them to victory. This cycle, he was a consultant for veteran prosecutor Alvin Bragg, who emerged from a crowded field to win the Democratic primary for Manhattan district attorney. Guma has also worked with Reps. Jerry Nadler, Ritchie Torres and Carolyn Maloney; state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi; New York City Council Member Carlina Rivera; and both the Working Families Party and the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee, among other clients.
Key clients: Scott Stringer for New York City mayor, Alvin Bragg for Manhattan district attorney, Brad Hoylman for Manhattan borough president; Kevin Riley, Marjorie Velazquez, Pierina Sanchez and Justin Krebs for New York City Council
Biggest accomplishment: “Helping to elect Manhattan’s first African-American district attorney – Alvin Bragg.”
At the start of 2021, Meredith Kelly, AJ Lenar and Trey Nix teamed up to launch Declaration Media, a Democratic TV and digital advertising firm based in South Carolina and Washington, D.C. Its connection to New York is through Kelly, who served as communications director on U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s 2020 presidential campaign – and through one of its newest clients, Gov. Kathy Hochul. Kelly also handled communications at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee when Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, and she has worked for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The team is also working with gubernatorial candidates Tom Perez of Maryland and Joe Cunningham of South Carolina.
Key clients: Gov. Kathy Hochul, Kara Hahn for Congress
Biggest accomplishment: “Trey Nix oversaw Governor Roy Cooper’s reelection in 2020 in North Carolina, at the same time that Donald Trump and other Republicans won the state.
We also made TV advertisements as part of the larger efforts to elect President Joe Biden, Senators Mark Kelly, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, and Congressman Ritchie Torres.”
Before Scott Levenson launched The Advance Group three decades ago, he worked on the campaigns of the Rev. Jesse Jackson for president, David Dinkins for New York City mayor and Mark Green for New York City public advocate. Now, along with his son Sebastian Levenson and key staffers Thomas Musich and Ana Rodrigues, he helped the Bronx’s Vanessa Gibson and Queens’ Donovan Richards win pivotal primaries for borough president.
Key clients: Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Vanessa Gibson for Bronx borough president; Farah Louis, Selvena Brooks-Powers, Kamillah Hanks and Ari Kagan for New York City Council
Biggest accomplishment: “The reelection of Donovan Richards as Queens borough president and election of Vanessa Gibson as Bronx borough president.”
Tyquana Henderson-Rivers is one of a group of influential Black women who have lifted each other up as they’ve ascended in the world of New York politics. Her growing firm has been on a hot streak in Queens in recent years: consulting on Melinda Katz’s high-profile campaign for district attorney and Donovan Richards’ successful bid for borough president, as well as helping Rep. Greg Meeks fend off a challenge from the left and Assembly Member Jeffrion Aubry beat Hiram Monserrate’s comeback bid. Henderson-Rivers, who worked for then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his 2018 reelection campaign, is now assisting Gov. Kathy Hochul’s reelection bid and Cordell Cleare’s candidacy for Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin’s empty seat in the state Senate.
Key clients: Gov. Kathy Hochul, Ray McGuire for New York City mayor, Cordell Cleare for state Senate, Rep. Gregory Meeks
Biggest accomplishment: “Organizing a robust field and campaign outreach operation during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In two short years, New Deal Strategies has grown from a two-person startup to a 17-member team with a number of key electoral victories under its belt. De Blasio administration veteran Rebecca Katz and longtime labor operative Camille Rivera – both working moms – lead the consulting firm, which turned heads by helping progressive insurgent Jamaal Bowman upset the incumbent Eliot Engel in a 2020 House Democratic primary.
Key clients: Scott Stringer for New York City mayor, Jimmy Van Bramer for Queens borough president; New York City Council candidates Sandy Nurse, Tiffany Cabán and Pierina Sanchez; Rana Abdelhamid for Congress, Sunrise Movement, Justice Democrats
Biggest accomplishment: “After Sandy Nurse was kicked off the ballot in the 2020 special election for Council District 37, our team worked as Sandy’s general consultants to help her come back this year and take down a party-backed incumbent, winning the primary with 65.4% of the vote – one of the highest percentages of any candidate in the city. In addition to Nurse’s win in Brooklyn, we also developed winning campaign strategies for Tiffany Cabán’s race in Queens and Pierina Sanchez’s in the Bronx.”
Led by U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer’s former staffer Josh Isay, SKDK is a preeminent consulting firm in New York. Isay took over as chief executive in early 2020, when several company veterans, including Mike Morey and Kerri Lyon, were also promoted to partner. The company, part of The Stagwell Group, has offices in Manhattan, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Albany, where Morgan Hook is the managing director. SKDK’s Anita Dunn served as a top adviser and strategist on Joe Biden’s successful campaign for president last year before returning to her role as a Washington-based partner at the consulting firm she co-founded.
Key clients: Joe Biden for president, New York City Council candidate Oswald Feliz
Mercury is a major consulting firm that handles a wide range of government affairs and communications matters, and Jake Dilemani takes the lead on assisting candidates for elected office. Some of the firm’s campaign work is conducted through Mercury’s Renaissance Campaign Strategies arm, and it also has worked on broader advocacy campaigns over the past year, such as “Show Up, Turn Out,” a multimillion-dollar voter education and mobilization effort, and Voters of NYC, an independent expenditure committee targeting New York City Council races. Dilemani has also worked with state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Member Ron Kim, as well as the national House Majority PAC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Key clients: Nassau County Democratic Committee, New York County Democratic Committee, Westchester County Democratic Legislative Caucus, David Weprin for New York City comptroller, Voters of NYC; Show Up, Turn Out
Biggest accomplishment: “The Show Up, Turn Out effort, which targeted more than 120,000 low-propensity, nonprimary voters with several million dollars of field, mail, phone and digital communication and successfully turned out more than 50,000 of these historically nonprimary voters is a project of which we’re enormously proud. This effort certainly pushed the city’s turnout to its highest level in years. It was a one-of-a-kind project, immensely successful, brought new primary voters to the table, and we will be looking to 2022 and beyond.”
Not every candidate on their client list is a millennial, but Millennial Strategies’ name evokes a more energetic and modern approach to campaigning – and the team lives up to it. Partners Jeffrey Guillot and Alex Voetsch founded the firm in 2013 and have worked with a range of candidates, advocacy groups and initiatives over the years. The firm has expanded its advertising capacity as well as its lobbying work, including in the cannabis space.
Key clients: New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (and his exploratory committee for governor); Shahana Hanif and Elizabeth Adams for New York City Council; United Federation of Teachers, Planned Parenthood, New York Immigration Coalition, League of Conservation Voters, Eleanor’s Legacy Action Fund, The Coalition to Restore New York
Biggest accomplishment: “Leading many of our clients’ efforts to help elect a record number of women to the City Council in 2021, and leading Jumaane Williams’ reelection campaign.”
North Shore Strategies continues to build on its success, positioning an impressive number of city and state candidates for victory over the past year, while also advising several candidates in Yonkers. The consulting firm was founded in 2014 by William Deegan and Brendan Klein.
Key clients: Andrew Yang for New York City mayor; Queens Borough President Donovan Richards; Mark Murphy for Staten Island borough president; Jo Anne Simon for Brooklyn borough president; Farah Louis, Tony Avella, Shekar Krishnan, Julie Won, Chi Ossé and Maria Danzilo for New York City Council; Laura Ahearn for state Senate
Biggest accomplishment: “Our client diversity. Our mission has always been to empower underrepresented communities and help elect public servants from across the ethnic, religious, gender and ideological spectrum. Our client roster reflects this mission. Additionally, we are proud to have hired over 500 political campaign staff this past cycle, including campaign managers, finance directors, field directors, design consultants and canvassers. We aim to guide the next generation of political operatives to help elect the leaders of tomorrow.”
Tulchin Research lands on this list for the first time thanks largely to the critical work it did as the lead pollster for Democratic mayoral nominee Eric Adams. But the San Francisco and Chicago-based company has worked with other notable New York politicians, including Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano and Westchester County Executive George Latimer, and institutions such as the Working Families Party and New York State United Teachers. The firm, which is known for its work on U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, also assisted Mark Levine’s successful bid for Manhattan borough president this cycle, and has been expanding its work nationally with nonprofits, environment groups, labor unions and corporations.
Key clients: Eric Adams for New York City mayor, Mark Levine for Manhattan borough president
Biggest accomplishment: “We are proud of our role in helping Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to navigate a highly complex and competitive primary and New York City’s first ranked-choice voting election. We worked with Adams to hone a message that responded to New Yorkers’ demands for both safety and justice, building a multiracial working-class coalition that propelled him to a come-from-behind victory.”
Moonshot Strategies is a new consulting firm led by three young but experienced politicos: co-founder Jason Ortiz, who made a name for himself as the political director of the Hotel Trades Council; co-founder Jenny Sedlis, who led the pro-charter school group StudentsFirstNY; and Jen Fermino, a former bureau chief for the Daily News and communications director for the New York City Council.
Key clients: Strong Leadership NYC, New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, StudentsFirstNY, Innocence Project, Vera Institute of Justice, Mets owner Steve Cohen
Biggest accomplishment: “Our first moonshot was that we started and ran Strong Leadership NYC, the super PAC that raised nearly $7 million to help elect Eric Adams as New York City’s next mayor.”
With only rare exceptions, this political consultants list omits election attorneys, who provide legal advice but typically leave the political strategizing to others. But the advice – both legal and political – that Vito Pitta provided to Eric Adams’ mayoral campaign has made him a bigger player in New York City politics. Pitta, whose firm Pitta LLP began working with Adams as early as 2018, also works at the affiliated Pitta Bishop & Del Giorno lobbying firm.
Key clients: Eric Adams for New York City mayor, Brian Benjamin for New York City comptroller, Mark Levine for Manhattan borough president, New York City Council Member Diana Ayala
A key part of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams’ winning coalition that resulted in a primary victory for New York City mayor was the Orthodox Jewish community, with Menashe Shapiro driving the campaign’s outreach to that community. The founder of Shapiro Consulting Group – who previously worked for Tusk Strategies and on former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign – will remain an important ally to Adams, whether or not he follows the candidate to a job at City Hall next year.
Key client: Eric Adams for New York City mayor
Lupé Todd-Medina has served as a communications strategist for several notable clients, including Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Bill de Blasio during his New York City public advocate campaign and then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo. She has also been a top communications staffer in the offices of then-Newark Mayor Cory Booker and then-Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson. This cycle, she worked on Ray McGuire’s bid for New York City mayor.
Key clients: Gov. Kathy Hochul, Ray McGuire for New York City mayor, Lindsey Boylan for Manhattan borough president
Editor’s note: Lupé Todd-Medina is a member of City & State’s advisory board.
Trip Yang over the years has worked with such heavyweights as former President Barack Obama and on U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. Now the principal of his own firm, Trip Yang Strategies, Yang is a consultant for New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and other city candidates.
Key clients: Andrew Yang for New York City mayor, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Lindsey Boylan for Manhattan borough president; Gale Brewer, Cordell Cleare, Shekar Krishnan, Edwin Raymond and Gigi Li for New York City Council
Editor’s note: Trip Yang is a member of City & State’s advisory board.
In 2018, three Democrats flipped House seats in New York. In 2020, just one of them, Rep. Antonio Delgado, won reelection. Delgado, who’s likely to face tough Republican rival Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro next year, counts Terrance Green of Washington, D.C.-based 4C Partners as one of his top consultants who has kept him in office – and will be critical in the effort to keep him there.
Key clients: Rep. Antonio Delgado, Joe Biden for president
Bill Hyers is best known in New York City for propelling Bill de Blasio into City Hall as his campaign manager. But he has kept the hits coming since he became a partner at The Win Company in 2014, supporting state Attorney General Letitia James, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jamaal Bowman and Mondaire Jones – and Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. Another partner at the company is Rick Fromberg, a media strategist who previously worked in the de Blasio administration and on the campaign of Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
Key client: Joe Biden for president, Shaun Donovan for New York City mayor, Khari Edwards for Brooklyn borough president
A year ago, the Republican consulting firm McLaughlin & Associates had the biggest name in politics – Donald Trump – as a client. Although Trump has vacated the White House, the New York and Virginia-based survey outfit is still a player nationally and in more conservative areas of the state. The company – led by brothers John and Jim McLaughlin – helped Rep. Lee Zeldin win reelection last year and now works with several Trump-supporting political action committees.
Key clients: Donald Trump for President, Rep. Lee Zeldin, Make America Great Again PAC, Save America, National Republican Congressional Committee, Nassau County Republican Committee, Safe Together New York Inc.
The Strategy Division were key consultants on Kathryn Garcia’s New York City mayoral campaign and Elizabeth Crowley’s bid for Queens borough president, and both candidates came from behind to challenge rivals with significant establishment support in near-upsets this cycle. Partners Peter Brown, who was on last year’s list at BrownMiller Group, and Rich Pelletier are looking to build on the strong results in their first year with The Strategy Division.
Key clients: Kathryn Garcia for New York City mayor, Elizabeth Crowley for Queens borough president, Robin Lois for Dutchess County comptroller, Our Future United, Steven Saperstein for New York City Council
Biggest accomplishment: “The Garcia campaign was our proudest moment. It was an incredible team managed by an incredible woman; as the chief strategists on the race, we put together and implemented an extremely sophisticated campaign from top to bottom: data, targeting, analytics, message, optics, branding and design.”
The Manhattan-based Dynamic SRG is a fundraising and political consulting firm founded and led by Walter Swett and Darren Rigger, along with fellow partner Lisa Amor. The team has worked for the likes of Reps. Gregory Meeks and Joseph Morelle as well as a long list of city and state legislators.
Key clients: Mark Levine for Manhattan borough president; Queens Borough President Donovan Richards; New York City Council Member Adrienne Adams; Kevin Thomas and Anna Kaplan for state Senate; Queens County Democratic Party; Bronx Democratic Party; Congressional Black Caucus PAC
Biggest accomplishment: “Navigating the pandemic by orchestrating opportunities for supporters and political leaders to connect that were virtual, in-person and hybrid.”
In 2018, the Democratic fundraising firm Nashban Mansur changed its name to Culver Place Strategies, with Allegra Scheinblum getting promoted to partner alongside David Mansur while longtime principal Adam Nashban moved to Oregon. The LGBTQ-owned firm helped deliver a major upset victory this year for New York City comptroller candidate Brad Lander – who even got some remote help from Nashban in Portland. The firm also works with Rep. Jerry Nadler.
Key clients: State Attorney General Letitia James, Brad Lander for New York City comptroller, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, Dan Quart for Manhattan district attorney, Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah, Nathalia Fernandez for Bronx borough president, Jimmy Van Bramer for Queens borough president, Robert Cornegy Jr. for Brooklyn borough president; Franciso Moya and Carmen De La Rosa for New York City Council; John Brooks for state Senate
Patrick B. Jenkins has made his mark as a leading Albany lobbyist in recent years, but the Queens political operative still has a hand in election campaigns. Among his recent clients are Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, state Sen. Kevin Parker and Assembly Members Jeffrion Aubry and Latoya Joyner.
Key clients: Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Speaker Heastie PAC
Juanita Scarlett has been a partner at the top lobbying firm Bolton-St. Johns since 2019, but she’s been political strategist long before then – and still advises candidates informally. She’s known to be close to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, the New York City Democratic mayoral nominee who’s all but guaranteed to be in City Hall next year.
Editor’s note: Juanita Scarlett is a member of City & State’s advisory board.
Ditto Consulting is a go-to firm for Democrats running for elected office in Westchester County. Kim DiTomasso’s firm counts Westchester County Executive George Latimer, state Sen. Shelley Mayer, Assembly Member Amy Paulin and Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano among its clients. DiTomasso has also taken on some New York City clients, including Rep. Carolyn Maloney.
Key clients: Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Antonio Reynoso for Brooklyn borough president,
Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah, state Sen. Pete Harckham
Biggest accomplishment: “Working with state Sen. Pete Harckham to defeat one of the strongest Republican threats in New York state, former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. Helping Westchester County Executive George Latimer to build a strong campaign to avoid a primary challenger.”
The Balduzzi Group’s Rochester-area office has handled political advertising and direct mail campaigns for local clients including Rep. Joe Morelle, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh. The husband-and-wife leadership team of John Balduzzi and Jessica Evangelista also have a Washington, D.C., office and dozens of clients across the country, including congressional and other major candidates in Illinois, Texas, California and other states.
Key clients: Rep. Joe Morelle, Joe Morelle Jr. for Irondequoit supervisor, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, Joe Burns for Binghamton mayor, New York State Democratic Committee, Congressional Black Caucus PAC, ACLU
Biggest accomplishment: “Providing media services in the Georgia U.S. Senate race for the Congressional Black Caucus PAC, helping to secure victories for Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.”
L. Joy Williams has led her own consulting firm, LJW Community Strategies, for over a decade. Last year she turned heads by helping Rep. Yvette Clarke trounce Adem Bunkeddeko after the incumbent had a scare the previous cycle. Williams is also chair of the Higher Heights for America PAC and leads the Brooklyn NAACP.
Key client: Ray McGuire for New York City mayor
Leticia Remauro’s longtime client, Nicole Malliotakis, picked up a House seat encompassing Staten Island and part of Brooklyn last fall, flipping it back to the Republican side after the party lost it to Max Rose for a term. While Malliotakis could face a rematch against Rose next year, Remauro turned her attention to her own race for Staten Island borough president this year, losing in the GOP primary but continuing her bid into November on the Conservative Party line.
Key clients: Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, Liz Joy for Congress
The Washington, D.C., digital campaign firm New Blue Interactive is led by Taryn Rosenkranz, who founded it nearly a decade ago after holding several leadership positions at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Among the clients she has worked with in New York are Reps. Thomas Suozzi, Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney and the labor union 1199SEIU.
Key clients: Shaun Donovan for New York City mayor, Ben Kallos for Manhattan borough president, Eliza Orlins for Manhattan district attorney
Last year, Middle Seat Consulting positioned Jamaal Bowman to be the only House challenger in New York to knock out an incumbent in the Democratic primary, following in the footsteps of another client, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The Washington, D.C., firm is hoping to keep the trend going next year, backing Rana Abdelhamid’s 2022 challenge of Rep. Carolyn Maloney. The progressive-minded firm also worked on the Biden-Harris campaign.
Key clients: Joe Biden for president, Rana Abdelhamid for Congress, Tahanie Aboushi for Manhattan district attorney, Justice Democrats
Biggest accomplishment: “Middle Seat led digital fundraising efforts for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s reelection campaign, helping (to) raise nearly $20 million in the 2020 cycle.”
The public relations firm Marathon Strategies has a track record of assisting candidates for elected office, which is no surprise given founder Phil Singer’s previous experience handling press for U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer. Marathon Strategies, which was hired by Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign in the last cycle, went on to work for the former New York City mayor’s Independence USA PAC and consult on Ray McGuire’s New York City mayoral bid this year.
Key clients: Ray McGuire for New York City mayor, Independence USA PAC
Manhattan-based Siegel Strategies is led by Jimmy Siegel and Miriam Hess, along with a Washington, D.C. partner, Sacha Haworth. The team did significant work on former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign and followed that up by assisting Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC. The political action committee backed candidates across the country last fall based on support for gun control and environmental and educational policies.
Key client: Independence USA PAC
Jerry Skurnik and Stu Osnow specialize in voter data curation providing detailed data on voters, a resource that is increasingly valuable with more New Yorkers voting early and ranked-choice voting upending norms in New York City races. Upon closing Prime NY, the longtime duo joined Engage Voters US. This firm created by Marc Zdanow has a focus on maximizing voter data, data curation and micro-targeting voters for voter engagement. They offer a full suite of engagement services for candidates and campaigns nationwide.
Key clients: Ray McGuire and Fernando Mateo for New York City mayor, Kevin Parker for New York City comptroller, Jo Anne Simon for Brooklyn borough president, Vito Fossella for Staten Island borough president, Tony Avella, Mercedes Narcisse and Joann Ariola for New York City Council
Annie Weir’s fundraising firm was part of Kathryn Garcia’s New York City mayoral campaign that almost broke through, and her team helped Democrats keep or pick up several state Senate seats on the way to winning a supermajority last year. She has also worked with Long Island candidates, including Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
Key clients: Kathryn Garcia for New York City mayor, Brad Hoylman for Manhattan borough president; Anna Kaplan, Michelle Hinchey, Andrew Gounardes and Laura Ahearn for state Senate
Biggest accomplishment: “Our firm was thrilled to work with Kathryn Garcia on her mayoral campaign. While she may not have won the primary, New Yorkers are better for having had her voice and experience in the race. And as a Quinn campaign veteran as well, perhaps next time we will break that glass ceiling at Gracie Mansion!”
Michael Giaccio’s fundraising firm, Bedford Grove, has worked with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is mulling a run for governor now that his time at City Hall is winding down. The longtime campaign operative has also been working with de Blasio’s Fairness PAC.
Key clients: Eric Adams for New York City mayor, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera for New York City comptroller, Fairness PAC
Barry Caro’s Bartholomew Communications & Strategies, which has offices in New York City and White Plains, primarily works with candidates in the five boroughs and in county, city and village races in Westchester. Caro has worked with New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams in the past, and this year his most high-profile client was mayoral candidate Kathryn Garcia.
Key clients: Kathryn Garcia for New York City mayor; Cordell Cleare and Gale Brewer for New York City Council; Colin Smith for Westchester County legislator, White Plains Democratic City Committee, Peekskill Democratic City Committee, Cortlandt Democratic Committee
Biggest accomplishment: “I was most proud of three races this year, one high profile and two low profile. On short notice, I put together a team that collected enough signatures to ensure Kathryn Garcia made the Democratic Primary ballot; It was gratifying to play a key role in one of New York City's real underdog stories this year. In Tuckahoe, my candidates swept the village elections and flipped a 3-2 Republican board to a 4-1 Democratic board. The winning mayor, Omayra Andino, became the first woman and first person of color to be mayor of the village. In Ardsley, a school board candidate named Vikas Agrawal knocked off an incumbent to become one of the first Indian-Americans elected in Westchester.”
The married duo of Ronnie and Michael Oliva run Sykes Global Communications, a firm that recently opened a division devoted to judicial candidates and worked with New York City Council Member Adrienne Adams – a leading candidate to be the next council speaker.
Key clients: New York City Council Member Adrienne Adams, Liz Crotty for Manhattan district attorney, Rosemarie Montalbano for Kings County Surrogate’s Court Judge, Heela Capell for Kings County Civil Court, Manuel Casanova for Congress
Biggest accomplishment: “Helping win a borough-wide upset Democratic Primary victory for Judge Rosemarie Montalbano, who won for Surrogate’s Court Judge against the Brooklyn County Party/Machine. She was the 4th Surrogate Judge candidate we successfully helped to elect. Helping to re-elect Councilwoman Adrienne Adams to the New York City Council against Ruben Wills (who formerly held the seat) with over 50% of the vote, and therefore eliminating a ranked-choice runoff from the electoral process.”
New York hasn’t had a Republican in statewide office since George Pataki was governor, but if that changes, Chapin Fay will likely have something to do with it. The Mercury veteran, who now runs his own consulting firm, Lighthouse Public Affairs, had a part in that 2002 Pataki bid and also helped Harry Wilson come close to winning a state comptroller contest in 2010. Fay’s now working on a super PAC for Rep. Lee Zeldin, the early Republican front-runner in the 2022 gubernatorial contest.
Key clients: Lee Zeldin’s super PAC; Liz Joy, Kevin Surdi, John Cummings and Desi Cuellar for Congress; Michael Henry for attorney general, Aleks Mici for New York City Council, Fernando Mateo for New York City mayor
Biggest accomplishment: “Leading the team that raised $11 million from hundreds of thousands of donors from all 50 states for the John Cummings campaign.”
The Casale Group, led by the husband-and-wife team of Vince Casale and Lynn Krogh, have proven effective at elevating Republican candidates into local, county and state legislative positions in recent years, and they’re now aiming higher with a gubernatorial hopeful and a House contender. They’ve also worked with Nick Langworthy, the state GOP chair.
Key clients: Andrew Giuliani for governor; Marc Molinaro’s congressional super PAC; Rockland County Executive Ed Day; Peter Oberacker and Mike Martucci for state Senate; Assembly Member Chris Tague; Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison; Liz Joy for Congress
Biggest accomplishment: “TCG continues to be the most sought-after firm for serious Republicans running for statewide and federal offices in New York. In a rough environment, TCG consistently delivers. In 2020, they elected two new Republican state senators, including Senate District 42, which was only one of two seats flipped from blue to red.”
The Washington, D.C.,-based consultant Anne Lewis knows how to deliver for high-powered clients, from President Joe Biden to U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia to nonprofits like Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Teach For America. In New York, she has worked with U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and is now working with state Attorney General Letitia James, who would be a top-tier gubernatorial candidate if she runs next year.
Key clients: State Attorney General Letitia James, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
Early on this cycle, it looked like former presidential candidate Andrew Yang might be the next mayor of New York City, and Tusk Strategies was going to be perhaps the biggest reason why. Company founder Bradley Tusk, who had engineered then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 2009 reelection victory, teamed up with Yang, and his staff held key positions, including Chris Coffey as co-campaign manager. However, the Yang campaign eventually fizzled and finished fourth place in the Democratic primary.
Key client: Andrew Yang for New York City mayor
Rep. Elise Stefanik easily won reelection last fall in a seat previously held by a Democrat, was rumored to be considering a run for governor, and then ascended to the No. 3 position on the House of Representatives’ Republican leadership team this spring. Her continued rise is thanks in part to Alex DeGrasse, a former campaign volunteer from Stefanik’s first campaign who now drives her political strategy as executive director of Elise for Congress. In 2020, DeGrasse also started North Country Strategies, his own political consulting firm.
Key clients: Elise for Congress, E-PAC, Elise Victory Fund, National Republican Congressional Committee
Biggest accomplishment: “In a highly nationalized competitive race in 2020 that the entire political world was watching post-impeachment standout, Alex led one of the most successful digital online fundraising efforts ever in outraising Democrats’ national grassroots fundraising and delivering a massive double-digit win at the ballot box when Elise won the most votes ever in the history of the North Country. And then positioning Elise to win the leadership race as House GOP chairwoman, the most powerful New York Republican in Congress since Jack Kemp.”
Stephanie Berger is the New York-based president of Berger Hirschberg Strategies, which she runs along with Washington, D.C.-based Rachel Hirschberg. Berger and Hirschberg, who also run the international consulting firm RISE Global Strategies, have worked with former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Reps. Greg Meeks and Nydia Velázquez and Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Key clients: Kathryn Garcia for mayor; Brian Benjamin for city comptroller; Jimmy Van Bramer for Queens borough president; Sean Ryan and Samra Brouk for state Senate; Selvena Brooks-Powers for New York City Council; Common Cause
Biggest accomplishment: “Working with Kathryn Garcia to come in a close second to Eric Adams.”
Michael Nieves’ day job is as president and chief executive officer of the Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network, a nonprofit Spanish-language television network. But the former government official, who has worked with New York City Council Member Robert Cornegy Jr., former Rep. Charles Rangel and former state Sen. Hiram Monserrate, still assists candidates. He recently helped elect seven district leaders and four state committee members in Queens, as well as several key judicial candidates.
Key clients: Civil Court Judges Soma Syed in Queens and Wanda Negron and Verena Powell in the Bronx
Biggest accomplishment: “Beat a Queens Democratic Party-endorsed judicial candidate to make Soma Syed the Democratic nominee Civil Court judge. When elected in the fall, Syed will be the first Bangladeshi and Muslim woman to be elected as judge in New York state.”
Editor’s note: Michael Nieves is a member of City & State’s advisory board.
Pollsters Bradley Honan and Elisabeth Zeche have been popping up everywhere lately, whether it’s penning op-eds for the Daily News and CNN, teaming up with the lobbying firm Capalino on election polling or advising clients in New York races. Honan brings experience working in the corporate sphere as well as with politicians including Michael Bloomberg, Bill and Hillary Clinton and state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. Zeche once worked for U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan and has close to two decades of experience in market research.
Key clients: Nathalia Fernandez for Bronx borough president; Liz Crotty for Manhattan district attorney; Stacy Lynch, Troy McGhie, Ahmadou Diallo, Billy Council, Marni Halasa, Sara Lind and Tiffany Tucker-Pryor for New York City Council; New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council / Hotel Workers for Stronger Communities; American Council of Engineering Companies New York City PAC
Biggest accomplishment: “Honan Strategy Group is successfully driving innovation in their political campaign work by pairing traditional polling and data analytics with unique offerings around voter level targeting, modeling, and an emotion based ad testing platform to provide our clients with the most actionable data and analysis to help inform messaging and communications strategy.”
José Bayona is following his roles as a senior adviser to Eric Adams’ mayoral campaign and as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s former director of community and ethnic media by launching his own firm, Grassroots Strategies, which aims to employ a truly grassroots approach to effect change.
Key client: Eric Adams for New York City mayor
Biggest accomplishment: “Winning the four outer boroughs for Eric Adams during the primary election with a clear message: At this moment of recovery and renewal, voters need our government to deliver for us. We brought them a platform with tangible solutions for working-class people in our communities. What they want is subway and street safety, improving schools and keeping our streets clean.”
The veteran communications consultant George Arzt knows the New York political world as well as anyone, thanks to his decades of experience. One of his key clients is Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who has been facing younger primary challengers in recent years.
Key clients: Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Ray McGuire for New York City mayor, Brooklyn Democratic Party
Rasheida Smith is a political veteran who has worked on the campaigns of former Reps. Charlie Rangel and Carolyn McCarthy, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and New York City Council Member I. Daneek Miller. She launched her government affairs and community relations firm, Dunton Consulting, in 2012.
Key clients: Ray McGuire for New York City mayor, Elizabeth Caputo for Manhattan borough president, Richard Lee for New York City Council
Justin Chae founded Meridian Strategies nearly three years ago, when he was an undergraduate in college – and he’s still enrolled even as the consulting firm has taken off. Chae has worked with cannabis companies and, on the election side, built up mail, digital and text capabilities. In New York, he has had Melissa Mark-Viverito and Assembly Member Daniel Rosenthal as clients in recent cycles.
Key clients: Elizabeth Crowley for Queens borough president; James Gennaro, Alfonso Quiroz and Gardy Brazela for New York City Council; New York City Health + Hospitals
Biggest accomplishment: “Over nine months Meridian has: signed up over 102,000 people for the vaccine, mobilized over 1,200 canvassers across the five boroughs, distributed 10 million masks, and reached over 1.8 million New Yorkers. Perfecting COVID-era field (work), we secured ballot access for several candidates while simultaneously executing a massive deep canvass vaccination program for HHC's Test and Trace Corps. During this time, Meridian’s leadership continued to run ops at full capacity while quarantined with COVID-19.”
Anthony Pileggi is the founder and president of the political consulting firm IMGE Advisors and vice president with its parent company, IMGE, which is located in Alexandria, Virginia. The former chief of staff to Rep. Elise Stefanik helped Claudia Tenney win back her upstate congressional seat from Anthony Brindisi this year, one of the most closely watched – and closest – races in New York last fall.
Key clients: Reps. Claudia Tenney and Andrew Garbarino
A little over two years ago, Amanda Cernik founded Capelianis Consulting LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based political, fundraising, development and event strategy firm. Over the past year, she has aided several Republican congressional candidates in New York, including moderate Rep. John Katko as well as Rep. Chris Jacobs in Western New York and Rep. Andrew Garbarino on Long Island.
Key clients: Reps. John Katko, Tom Reed, Chris Jacobs and Andrew Garbarino
Earlier on in his political career, Bill de Blasio had a track record of outperforming early polls. In his presidential bid, however, his lackluster polling hardly budged. Now that he’s seriously considering a run for governor, he’ll look to Anna Greenberg, his longtime pollster, to help assess whether he has a realistic path to victory.
Key client: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
The consulting, communications and events company Relentless Awareness has been expanding its political work in recent years, primarily in and around the Capital Region. The firm, which has a new studio space right in downtown Albany, has worked for such clients as U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Paul Tonko, state Sen. Neil Breslin, Assembly Member Patricia Fahy, Albany County District Attorney David Soares, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy and Albany County Family Court Judge Sherri Brooks.
Key clients: Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Rich Mooney for Rensselaer mayor
Biggest accomplishment: “David Soares' win was a highlight of 2020, where he fended off a challenger heavily supported by the WFP (Working Families Party) in the Democratic primary and especially during the height of COVID-19.”
Jonathan Davis toils away behind the scenes as one of the leading opposition researchers for Democratic candidates in New York. He prefers to keep his clients secret, but public filings show he has worked for Rep. Ritchie Torres and Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, among others.
Key clients: Scott Stringer for New York City mayor, Corey Johnson for New York City comptroller, Alvin Bragg for Manhattan district attorney, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and Mark Levine for Manhattan borough president
Eric Koch recently left Precision Strategies, where he handled communications for New York City mayoral candidate Maya Wiley, to kick off his new firm: Downfield. Koch, who previously worked for then-New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and at Hiltzik Strategies, has also consulted for Rep. Ritchie Torres and U.S. Senate candidate Al Gross of Alaska.
Key clients: Maya Wiley for New York City mayor, Met Council
Biggest accomplishment: “Lead comms strategist for Maya Wiley – overall all comms, debate prep, rapid response, etc., helped take her from the middle of the pack to surging at the end.”
Mark Skidmore’s Assemble is a digital-driven political consulting firm that he founded after working with the likes of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. This cycle, the veteran of Bully Pulpit Interactive was a consultant on Ray McGuire’s New York City mayoral campaign.
Key client: Ray McGuire for New York City mayor
André M. Richardson’s biggest client over the years has been Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the No. 4 Democrat in the House of Representatives. He has also assisted the reform-minded Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and state Sen. Zellnor Myrie. Richardson, who’s the New York political director for Jeffries’ campaign, also runs Paragon Strategies, which specializes in politics, real estate and business.
Key client: Andrew Yang for New York City mayor
Biggest accomplishment: “Representing a group of Black Brooklyn-based farmers to help them successfully obtain a license to enter the New York state cannabis market and advocating on their behalf to ensure their successful and equitable entry into the industry.”
Since Steve Kramer founded the aptly named firm Get Out the Vote in 1999, he has worked with plenty of New York candidates, including mayoral, borough president and New York City Council candidates this cycle. He also advised Kanye West’s presidential bid.
Key clients: Robert Cornegy Jr. for Brooklyn borough president, Ben Kallos for Manhattan borough president, Farah Louis for New York City Council, UFT, The Advance Group, Brooklyn Democratic Party
Biggest accomplishment: “We had a great win rate of around 85%. Winning races not just in New York but around the country is what we do.”
Rep. Chris Jacobs has deep roots in the majority Republican district he represents in Western New York, where his family runs a lucrative hospitality business. But since his election to Congress in 2020, he has relied heavily on the Washington, D.C-based Strategic Media Services, run for a quarter century by David Neal, as one of his top consultants. Neal has also worked with former President Donald Trump on ad buying.
Key client: Rep. Chris Jacobs
Edu Hermelyn was one of a number political consultants hired by Eric Adams’ successful mayoral campaign. Hermelyn is a Brooklyn district leader and the husband of Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, who endorsed Adams.
Key client: Eric Adams for New York City mayor
Troy Blackwell’s campaign experience ranges from the national to the hyperlocal. He mounted a bid for a New York City Council seat in the Bronx this cycle and worked on the Biden-Harris presidential ticket last year. His new Ready for Change PAC, which aims to boost voter turnout and youth engagement, has endorsed Kimberly Beaty for Erie County sheriff.
Key clients: Presidential candidates Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Tom Steyer
Biggest accomplishment: “Having a front-row seat to democracy by working tirelessly to get Kamala Harris elected as vice president of the United States, making her the first woman and first person of color to ever hold that seat. I’ve worked with Vice President Harris since early 2019 and traveled to 10 states with her.”
A former candidate for New York City public advocate, Ifeoma Ike worked on Dianne Morales’ campaign for New York City mayor this cycle and eventually joined the team behind Maya Wiley, who emerged as the progressive flag-bearer in the race, even though she ultimately fell short. Ike, whose Pink Cornrows firm elevates Black female leaders, is also the advisory board chair of the New York City Black Women’s Political Club.
Key clients: Maya Wiley and Dianne Morales for New York City mayor
Biggest accomplishment: “Entering the mayoral season in January 2021 with a belief that progressive Black women running deserve strong, visible and viable campaigns, Ifeoma Ike served as a senior advisor to two leading Black women mayoral campaigns – and informally to Black women City Council candidates – and leveraged her relationships with organizers, activists and community leaders in movement spaces to co-design radical spaces with those typically underprioritized by the political elite.”
Since Andrew Cuomo stepped down as governor, a number of prominent politicians across New York are looking to step up. One of them is Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, who recently brought on veteran Democratic strategists J.J. Balaban and Brandon L. Davis of Technicolor Political, according to The New York Times. The national firm also worked on Rep. Mondaire Jones’ trailblazing bid for Congress last year.
Key client: Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone
Before launching her own consulting firm in 2019, Hailee Greene gained campaign experience at Berger Hirschberg Strategies and Ditto Consulting. She also worked on then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2018 reelection bid for governor and on Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s presidential campaign. Last year, she helped a pair of Democrats win key state Senate races in the Hudson Valley.
Key clients: Michelle Hinchey and Elijah Reichlin-Melnick for state Senate
One of Kenneth Plummer’s key clients is Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard, who was elected in 2019, and he has also assisted other Westchester County candidates aligned with the mayor. Plummer’s firm is also co-developing a new Boys and Girls Club of New Rochelle.
Key clients: Westchester County Legislator Tyrae Woodson-Samuels; former New Rochelle Council Member Jared Rice; Administrative Justice Kathie Davidson; incoming 2021 Mount Vernon City Council members
Biggest accomplishment: “Played a central advising, fundraising and infrastructure role in assisting Shawyn Patterson-Howard, the first Black woman to be elected mayor in the City of Mount Vernon, New York, and only the second in the state of New York, in 2019, and led the creation of the Mount Vernon Forward movement, which swept the recent 2021 primary elections in the city.”
Correction: Due to a posting error, an earlier version of this post misspelled the name of Vito Pitta of Pitta LLP.
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