Media & Messaging Panel

In an election year as competitive as this one, crafting the right message and effectively delivering it is more important than ever. This panel of industry experts will discuss what they are seeing in the field, give tips on best practices, and answer your questions. 

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Matt Rooney

Over the past ten years, Matt Rooney’s Save Jersey has been repeatedly recognized as a force in New Jersey politics and as the premier online gathering place for Garden State conservatives; Matt was recently ranked #46 on InsiderNJ’s 100 Media Power List, named a “Rising Star” in state politics by Gannett’s New Jersey newspapers, a top politics and policy tweeter by NJSpotlight, and as #12 on Chasing News’s ‘Chasing Power’ list for his work at SaveJersey.com. He is a regular guest on both Bill Spadea’s My9/Fox5/Fox29 Chasing News and NJ 101.5 radio morning programs, and he is a regularly cited conservative commentator by mainstream regional media outlets. 

Matt is also a practicing attorney at the South Jersey-based law firm of DeMichele & DeMichele, P.C. located in Haddon Heights, N.J., focusing on New Jersey family court matters. A native of Camden County, he earned his Juris Doctorate in 2010 from the Rutgers University School of Law – Camden; in 2007, he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree and as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

 

Chris Russell

A partner at Checkmate Strategies, Chris Russell has a proven track record of winning tough races.

A 1995 graduate of Temple University, Chris has won a combined 29 (and counting) Pollie Awards from the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) and Reed Awards from Campaigns & Elections Magazine for his creative work. He also took home the coveted “Rising Star” Award from Campaigns & Elections Magazine in 2008 as one of the Top 25 political professionals under the age of 35.

Chris serves as a strategic advisor to Members of Congress, Republican organizations, state legislators, and elected officials on the county and local level. He also advises corporations and issue advocacy groups in New Jersey, as well as nationally and internationally.

Chris currently serves as Chairman of the Temple University Political Science Alumni Advisory Board and as a Member of the Owl Club Board of Directors at his alma mater. Chris has consistently been named one of New Jersey’s top Republican consultants by both The Observer (PolitickerNJ.com) and InsiderNJ, as well as regularly appearing as a guest analyst on programs like NJTV’s On the Record and News 12 New Jersey’s Power & Politics.

 

Erica Jedynak

Erica L. Jedynak is the New Jersey State Director for Americans for Prosperity. She brings her skills and passion for limited government and a more affordable state to build a winning grassroots army to take on the special interests in Trenton and Washington, D.C. Jedynak drives the vision for the chapter’s policy agenda; lobbying and coalition-building; field operations; fundraising; media relations; and digital advertising and mail campaigns. Jedynak also serves as the New Jersey Private Sector Chair for the American Legislative Exchange Council.

She was voted “Top Young Female Talent on the Right” in the State of New Jersey; named to InsiderNJ’s Power 100 List; published in The Wall Street Journal and Forbes; and appeared on Fox Business, News 12, and Bold TV.

This past year, Jedynak was one of seven emerging state leaders selected as part of an exchange with Australia through the American Council of Young Political Leaders to study public policy and diplomacy. She was also appointed to the New Jersey State Advisory Committee for the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.

Having served in numerous roles working for state legislators in district offices and on the campaign trail, Jedynak has earned a reputation as a high energy, dynamic policy advisor and organizer. Politically, Jedynak is the past NJ Young Republican Federation NW Vice Chair and Chair of the Morris County Young Republicans, where she successfully led the organization to form a PAC and quadruple fundraising.

Erica Jedynak holds a B.A. in Political Science with an International Relations focus, and minor in Sociology, cum laude from Drew University. She studied at both the United Nations Headquarters in New York and abroad at the Institute of Venice, Italy. She later earned a Mini-MPA from Rutgers University’s Center for Executive Leadership in Government.

 

Brock McCleary

Brock McCleary serves as pollster and consultant to Members of Congress, state and federal campaigns, political party committees, independent expenditure units, and a wide array of nonpartisan public policy groups at the federal and state levels.

Brock previously served as Polling Director, Deputy Political Director, and Northeast Political Director at the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC). During his time as a House Republican campaign strategist, the NRCC picked up 63 seats in the House of Representatives in 2010, the largest gain since 1948, and secured the two largest majorities for Congressional Republicans since World War II.

In 2012, Brock was responsible for the Republican House campaigns challenging sitting Democratic incumbents. On election day 2012, President Obama was comfortably reelected and 13 Republican Congressmen were defeated. Despite that, 10 Republican challenger campaigns surprisingly defeated sitting Democrats to help preserve the GOP’s majority in the House of Representatives.

In 2017, Brock served as the General Consultant for the NRCC’s victorious $8 million Independent Expenditure Unit in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, the most expensive, high-stakes special election in history.

Brock is one of the country’s foremost experts on the political landscape of Congress. His work on redistricting efforts in 2011 and a high volume of Congressional polls each election cycle provide Brock with a unique understanding of the electoral footing beneath the U.S. House and Senate.

Prior to founding Harper Polling, Brock McCleary worked as a campaign operative, Capitol Hill aide, and public affairs consultant. He previously served as Communications Director for Congressman and Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry of North Carolina. He began his career in 1998 as the Deputy Coalitions Director for Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge’s reelection campaign. He served as Political Director of the New Jersey Republican Party and as a consultant to congressional and state legislative races in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, before heading to Washington, D.C.Brock is an RIVA-trained focus group Moderator. In 2010, he was presented with the “Rising Star” Award by Campaigns & Elections magazine. 

“Chairman Pete Session’s NRCC, led by Executive Director Guy Harrison, Communications Director Paul Lindsay, Political Director Mike Shields, and Polling Director Brock McCleary, correctly calculated early on in the cycle that offense was the best defense.  Their early attacks to encourage Democratic retirements helped create a GOP open-seat advantage and eventually forced Democrats to spend millions of dollars defending seats in places like Connecticut, Rhode Island and southern Illinois.”- Famed Political Handicapper Charlie Cook

“Polling guru Brock McCleary”- City & State PA

“House Republican survey maven Brock McCleary”- Time Magazine

 

Panel Moderator: Harrison Neely

Harrison graduated from St. Lawrence University with a B.A. in political science in 2009 and jumped straight into New Jersey politics working as legislative aide and district political director for NJ Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean where he successfully managed the Senator’s re-election in 2011.

In 2013 Harrison expanded his skillset by serving as the Deputy Director to the NJ Senate Republican Majority statewide campaign. There headed candidate recruitment and training efforts and helped manage a $2.5 million dollar budget.

He then went on to work as the Political Director for NJ 3rd district Congressman Tom MacArthur’s successful primary and general elections where he developed and managed a sophisticated, data-driven field plan the helped yield an eleven percent victory in one of the most targeted and competitive house seats in the country.

In 2017 Harrison served as the Executive Director to Senate Republican Majority, the political arm of the New Jersey Senate Republican Caucus. He ran a statewide operation where he recruited and trained legislative candidates and played a crucial role on the only competitive legislative campaign in 2017 where a Republican flipped a Democrat incumbent seat.

Harrison brings a unique background to the table having high-level experience in tough campaigns and also public policy. He has worked for the NJ Senate Republican Caucus as a Policy Analyst and also their Director of Constituent Relations where he became an expert in legislative research and also managed a statewide effort to expand the brand of the Caucus.

As a graduate of the RNC Campaign Management College, Harrison has extensive political training and education. He has a thirst for knowledge when it comes to keeping up with the cutting edge of innovations in political campaigning.

Harrison was named to the 2017 PolitickerNJ Power list the ObserverNJ 2015 and 2016 30 under list.