Media & Messaging Panel

2018 was a challenging year for Republicans in New Jersey. Crafting the right message and effectively delivering it in a tough political climate will be imperative for success in 2019. This panel of industry experts will discuss what they are seeing in the field, give tips on best practices to help candidates and organizations improve their brands and answer your questions.

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Brian O. Walsh

Brian O. Walsh has spent more than fifteen (15) years working in American politics, holding leadership positions on Capitol Hill, political campaigns, at a national party committee and conservative outside groups.

Mr. Walsh currently serves as a Partner at RedPrint Strategy, an award winning media firm specializing in innovative campaign advertising and strategy for A-list political campaigns, PAC’s, State Parties, Trade Associations and National Campaign Committees.

Mr. Walsh also serves as President of America First Action, the primary super PAC in support of the Trump-Pence Administration, and America First Policies, a non-profit organization supporting key policy initiatives that will work for all citizens in our country and put America first.

From 2011-2015, Mr. Walsh served as President of both the American Action Network, a 501(c)(4) ‘action tank’ and “one of the country’s most prominent conservative outside groups,” and the Congressional Leadership Fund, “the main super PAC supporting House Republicans” which “has the endorsement of the entire House Republican Leadership.”  During Mr. Walsh’s tenure, AAN and CLF were the largest independent expenditure investors in support of House Republicans since the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision.

Previously, Mr. Walsh held the position of Political Director for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) in 2009-2010, serving as a senior strategist for House Republicans in their successful effort to win sixty-three (63) seats and the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.  In this capacity, Mr. Walsh managed the staff and operations of the NRCC Political Department and provided strategic political assistance to Republican congressional candidates nationwide.

Mr. Walsh has also served as NRCC Deputy Political Director, Political Director for the Tom Kean, Jr. for U.S. Senate campaign in New Jersey, as Deputy Director of Incumbent Retention for the NRCC, and Campaign Manager to former NRCC Chairman and U.S. Representative Thomas M. Reynolds (R-NY).  Mr. Walsh was also press secretary and advisor on State Senator Ginny Brown-Waite’s (R-FL) successful election in 2002, one of the closest in the nation.  Later, at the age of just twenty-five, he served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Representative Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL) (2003-2004).

Mr. Walsh also served as press secretary and Legislative Assistant to former Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman (R-NY), former Chairman of the House International Relations Committee and as a staff assistant on the Gilman for Congress campaigns.

Brian has been recognized as one of Campaign & Elections “Rising Stars,” a “a prominent GOP strategist” (Politico) and, following the 2010 House Republican wave, pundit Charlie Cook noted, “NRCC Political Director Brian Walsh and Communications Director Ken Spain were always laser-focused on a majority and matched the killer instinct of Democrat Rahm Eman­uel and his lieutenants circa 2006.”

He is originally from Ringwood, New Jersey and lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife, Natasha, and their dogs.

Adam Geller

Adam Geller is the founder and CEO of the Republican polling firm, National Research Inc.

As one of the pollsters for the Donald J. Trump for President campaign, Adam’s responsibilities included all polling and strategic recommendations for the key Rust Belt states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa – the states that, along with Pennsylvania, completely shattered the “Blue Wall” for Democrats and delivered President Trump’s victory.

Since the Presidential inauguration, Adam has been one of two lead pollsters for America First Policies and America First Action, the two “officially endorsed” pro-Trump outside groups assisting with the White House’s agenda.

In addition, Adam is known for his polling on behalf of Governor Chris Christie.   Adam was the lead pollster for Christie’s 2009 upset victory over Jon Corzine, his 2013 re-election victory over Barbara Buono, and for Christie’s presidential campaign.

Adam has been one of the pollsters for the Republican Governor’s Association (RGA) since 2008.   In 2018, Adam is polling for the RGA in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut and other states.

Adam is the lead pollster for the Bob Hugin for Senate campaign in New Jersey, against incumbent US Senator Bob Menendez.  He is the lead pollster for the Steve Gaynor for Secretary of State race in Arizona.   His extensive roster of congressional clients includes House members and challengers throughout the nation.

Adam’s firm recently received the highest grade for accuracy of any Republican polling firm in the 538 blog ranking of all pollsters, conducted by Nate Silver and Harry Enten.

In 2014, one of Adam’s clients, Delaware State Treasurer Ken Simpler, became the first successful non-incumbent Republican to win a statewide office in Delaware in twenty years.

In 2011, Adam was asked to conduct a first-of-its-kind nationwide poll of more than 800 entrepreneurs, the results of which formed the basis of the book, “Where the Jobs Are: Entrepreneurship and the Soul of the American Economy,” by John Dearie and Courtney Geduldig, published in 2013.

In addition to their political work, Adam and his firm conduct survey research, focus and dial groups and strategic consulting for major corporations and Fortune 500 firms in the energy, financial, telecommunications, tobacco, insurance, gaming, and retail industries.

Adam received his Bachelor’s Degree from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and his Master’s Degree from the University of Delaware.

Anthony Ranucci

As the first dedicated Grassroots Strategist at The Prosper Group, Anthony leads the agency’s efforts to “build the bench” of conservative candidates nationally – helping emerging local and regional officeholders and challenger candidates alike develop solid core campaign tactics while also taking advantage of The Prosper Group’s industry-leading digital strategies.

Anthony cut his teeth in one of America’s toughest Republican political environments – New Jersey. There he served as a Chief of Staff in the New Jersey General Assembly, and ran a top-tier million dollar campaign for the state legislative caucus in 2017 (while simultaneously serving as Executive Director of a County Party organization).

In the years prior to that, Anthony successfully executed one of the top grassroots operations in New Jersey during the 2012 election cycle, and went on to serve a member of Congress as his office’s Director of Constituent Outreach.

Anthony earned a BA in Economics and Political Science, and is a graduate of the Ashbrook Scholar Program at Ashland University. There he completed an undergraduate thesis on the historical correspondence of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

He and his wife currently live in Noblesville, Indiana and have been fortunate to have the chance to travel extensively throughout Europe. Now, they are looking forward to exploring more of the United States and settling down to start a family.

Favorite Book: Ender’s Game; Favorite Beer: Ommegang’s Three Philosphers; Favorite Movie: Top Gun; Favorite Vacation Spot: Cinque Terre, Italy

 

Chris Russell

Since launching his original business, Chris Russell Consulting, in 2009, Chris has a proven track record of winning tough races.

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

As an award-winning direct mail consultant, Chris has won over 30 (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.

A 1995 graduate of Temple University, Chris currently serves as a Member of the 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.

Chris lives with his wife, Michelle, and daughters Emma and Alyssa, in Jackson, NJ. Together, they founded the Caitlin Elizabeth Russell Foundation in 2006 in honor of their firstborn daughter, who passed away from complications of premature birth at the age of 4 months. Since its inception, Caitlin’s Foundation has raised more than a half-million dollars to help premature babies and their families.

Emily Everson

Emily Everson is a dedicated communications professional with years of experience in media relations, government affairs and journalism. As the Deputy Director of Communications at the New Jersey Senate Republican Office, Emily has served as a trusted advisor to New Jersey’s Republican State Senators for the past four years.

As Deputy, her responsibilities include building strong relationships with the press, running a variety of public relations campaigns to promote legislation and advance Caucus initiatives; developing strategic messaging and branding plans; mentoring other communication staffers, writing speeches, and coaching senators on how to interact with the media and constituents.

Everson has always been a firm believer that public service is service and has taken her passion for advocating for the people of New Jersey from the newsroom to the Senate floor. Prior to her career in State government, she served as an investigative journalist at Worrall Newspapers, a Regional Editor at AOL Patch.com, and Editor in Chief of Hibu Community Magazines in Central and Northern New Jersey.

Everson graduated Magna cum laude from Marymount Manhattan College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and Journalism. Recently, she had the honor of serving as a Faculty Member in Residence at the Center of American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers Eagleton.  In January, Everson was also named one of Save Jersey’s “Right Women to Watch in 2019.”

 

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.

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