Sure, there are 12,583 Republicans contemplating running for President of the United States this year – at FamousDC, we’re more concerned with where the top digital strategists will land or at the least, which campaign they’ll play a senior advisory role in. We asked our most knowledgeable contacts for these names, and those you read here were highly recommended to us from multiple sources.
There are more free agents on the R side because, let’s face it, there are more candidates. Hillary Clinton looks like she has locked up the Democratic nomination – well, unless her homebrew Geocities emails go public.
These are the savvy folks who have waited on the sidelines for the upcoming election, and their parties are ready to put them in. Know them, befriend them, watch them expertly play the game.
The Top Free Agent Republican Digital Strategists
Harvard is cold during the winter and at some point a Goodwill Hunting search is gonna end up focused on the Godfather. We’re betting he ends up someplace warm (i.e. Florida).
Nobody ever really wants to leave Google. Saliterman has a proven track record and a ridiculous network.
Former Twitter ambassador and current RNC CTO could already be developing her team for the campaign in waiting.
Fresh off an “almost win” in the Virginia Senate race with Ed Gillespie, Eric is rumored to be on the top of several lists.
As long as he can play hockey in near the campaign HQ, Gerrit would be a strong addition to any GOP hopeful’s team.
He’s at the NRCC, he knows digital like nobody’s business, he’s an amazing graphic designer, and he has a personal photo with Zuck. You do the gameday math.
When he’s not busy running the MGA, IMGE, or the IJ Review, we heard he’s tackling emails offering him top campaign spots. Will he jump?
Vuljaj split from the Google formation to do his own thing in D.C. at IMGE and MGA, but if Rs know what’s up for them, he’s getting recruited for the 2016 cycle.
Look out for this guy. Matt Lira taught him a lot of what he knows – minus what Wharton and Harvard taught him. Smart dude.
Keeping tabs on all the latest policy, he’s at Arena right now and simultaneously wanted on several campaigns. But he’d refuse them all if the Vikings drafted him for their digital team.
The best coast and Bask Digital have Amanda’s focus now but she’s fresh off the last campaign and ready to play again. It’s rumored she’s in line to get a draft day call from the GOP.
Will Facebook be able to intercept Jamie’s attention when so many 2016 offers are flooding her inbox?
Heading up efforts at Upstream, Hickson hasn’t fumbled so far. He could be the next star GOP campaign staffer.
Donehue laces up with a bowtie every day, but he’s not the average man by any means – the owner of Push Digital is just warming up before 2016.
He’s in the big leagues now at the RNC but made a name for himself in the House, and is well known around town for being a CrossFit super star and one of the best digital minds in DC.
When she’s not sprinting through television appearances, writing her column for Daily Beast, writing her upcoming book, or being named one of the top leaders of her generation, she’s working at the company she co-founded, Echelon Insights. We’re not sure she’ll give all that up for a campaign this year, but she’ll definitely be called on.
Of course one of the original digital godfathers makes the list. When Ruffini isn’t juggling multiple companies, he’s blowing our minds with his insane knowledge of data. Doubtful he’ll make the leap, but he might play an advisory role.
Katie just celebrated her fourth year at Facebook and nobody has more respect in this industry than her. It’ll take a dump truck full of cash to lure Facebook’s finest onto a presidential campaign, but we’ve seen crazier things happen.
A former digital aide to Cantor, Connor certainly knows his way around fast-paced campaigns. Bonus: He learned from Matt Lira.
Another graduate of the School of Lira, Cameron is the chief digital strategist at the NRSC and we’re sure he’s already being scouted.
Currently working for Speaker Boehner, Bryant cut his teeth with the best of the best at NJI Media and his Capitol Hill address today is one of the most sought after.
Marinaccio is playing for the NRSC now as Creative Director, but he’s so good, we know he could be whisked away by a strong campaign if he wished.
After spearheading Scott Brown’s digital campaign, Lewis was scooped up by DigitasLBi and Echelon Insights. Will she be able to resist the call of the campaign next year?
With years of campaign experience under his belt, this digital crisis manager could be going places in 2016 – and by places, we mean, to a campaign.
Wild Card: Chris Brooks
When he’s not in India [Ed: Strike that, Africa] , he’s in other parts of the world. It’s unknown if Brooks will return stateside, but the former Hilton digital guy knows his stuff and would be a huge asset to any campaign.
Super Wild Card – David Almacy
David is part of the reason many on this list have a job in digital communications. David led up the digital efforts for George W. Bush and has helped shape digital policy for years from his desk at Edelman. Will he make the leap to a presidential campaign? It’s a long shot, hence his super wildcard status, but any campaign would be lucky to have him playing a senior advisory role.
It seems as if Rick Perry has already inked a deal with the smart minds at Target Victory. However, if Rick doesn’t run, these guys will surely saddle up with another big contender.
The Top Free Agent Democrat Digital Strategists
Is this his last spin at the DCCC? He’s whip smart and lightning fast on the fundraising side – you’d better believe Democrats have something in the playbook for him.
Pulling double duty at DSPolitical and Rising Tide Interactive, Kaplan has made some huge touchdowns in digital campaigns for Democratic and progressive politics – he’s sure to be added to the starting lineup.
Koster is the real deal, cited by Ars Technica and others. He’ll have to peel away from his firm Chong + Koster for a cycle, but Ds would leap at the chance to hire him.
Facebook’s Crystal Patterson is heading up Democratic efforts at Facebook this election season, but a campaign may want her wealth of communications experience all to themselves.
Goff passed the digital ball to Democratic star quarterback, Barack Obama, during his presidential run. You can be sure Goff will be on the lineup this season.
Current VP of Digital at EMILY’s List, Lowenstein has had a hand in campaigns for almost a decade, including Terry McAuliffe’s. She’s not just going places, she’s already there.
The founder of Blue State Digital is the Tom Brady of digital political tactics – sure to be called in, sure to win.
Another heavy hitter in the Democratic lineup, the founder of Bully Pulpit Interactive is sure to throw more than a few digital campaign winners in 2016.
Nedeau, long-time FamousDC friend, is sure to get scouted by an important campaign in 2016, but will she go?
Founder at Well & Lighthouse, Schlough has cruised more than a fair share of Democratic Senators and other candidates to a win, we’re looking forward to seeing how the progressive party uses his talents.
Ryan is sharp, witty and has her finger on the pulse of politics – we predict she’ll be calling the shots on someone’s campaign next year.
This is not the DSCC Digital Director’s first play – in the past he’s worked with the DCCC and Hillary. We doubt he’ll be on the free agency market too long.
Compton, Digital Director for the DNC and worked with the White House. You always want someone on your team with a few Super Bowl rings to show off.
Clark has been working in this field for a decade, most recently as a seasoned Bully Pulpit vet. He could carry many winners down the field in 2016.
He moved from DC to San Fran, but don’t discount Golden, he’s playing with some of the most influential: he’s digital analytics manager at Mark Zuckerburg’s FWD.us.
Algeri has been directing digital for the last five years, and we hear some campaigns are knocking on her door already- she’s got more than her share of experience to fit the bill.
Katie is already hard at work for Hillary as her Digital Director. We’re sure Katie would be scooped up by another campaign if Hillary wasn’t running but, the chances of that scenario playing out are slim.
Republican Political Digital Strategists
Democratic Political Digital Strategists
Did we miss anyone? Any rookies out there looking to make an immediate impact? Let us know: FamousDC@gmail.com.