The campaign of Green Beret Matt Reel, a candidate for Congress in Tennessee’s 7th District, last week announced that it has hired a team of consultants with experience in electing Democrats in Republican districts.
But Reel, a resident of Primm Springs, just west of Williamson in Hickman County, first must face fellow Democrat Justin Kanew, a movie producer from College Grove, in the Democratic primary on Aug. 2.
Reel owns and operates the farm on which he was raised.
He has served for 15 years in the Army National Guard as a Special Forces Green Beret with combat tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and parts between. He is currently deployed with his Special Forces A Team to Special Operations Command South (SOCSOUTH), most recently working with Latin American special forces to combat the illicit trade and trafficking of drugs, arms and humans, and the increasing links to regional instability and transnational terrorist network threats to U.S. national security.
“While Matt has been on active duty since January, surrogates and family have been running the campaign on his behalf,” spokeswoman and strategist Carol Brown Andrews said in announcing the team of political consultants, researchers and fundraisers.
“Our campaign has assembled a top team to handle media, mail, polling, research, fundraising and digital consulting strategies on Matt’s behalf because we have every intention of running a smart, efficient campaign as disciplined as Matt’s military service,” Andrews said.
This team is now working with them to complete the circle, and we will be in full force when Matt is allowed to join the campaign.”
Consultants joining the Reel for Congress Campaign include:
Peter Cari, Prism Communications, Media: Cari is founding partner of Prism Communications with experience as political director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and later directed polling, research and issue advocacy operations for the Committee. He has served as media consultant and lead strategist for clients like Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina, Rep. Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton of North Carolina, and numerous other Democrats elected in Republican-leaning areas.
Bryan Dooley, Founder, Pathfinder Opinion Research, Polling: Dooley is a public opinion research and statistical consultant who has worked for corporations, political campaigns, issue advocacy groups, and government agencies for 18 years. Prior to founding Pathfinder in 2013, Dooley was vice president and partner of Hamilton Campaigns, a Democratic political polling firm based in Florida and Washington D.C. Over the course of his career, he has conducted surveys and focus groups on behalf of political candidates across the country and at every level of office, as well as research for Fortune 500 companies, labor unions, progressive issue groups, and business advocacy groups.
Trey Ourso and Michael Beychok, Ourso Beychok, Mail: Ourso Beychok, Inc., based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has been in the strategic consulting and direct mail business for over 17 years. Partners Trey Ourso and Michael Beychok have been working in politics for more than 30 years. Their work has helped candidates and causes win tough elections in dozens of states, including Tennessee for former Congressman John Tanner and North Carolina for former Tennessee Volunteer star quarterback and Congressman Heath Shuler. Recent work included a win in the Alabama U.S. Senate race where they provided strategic advice and produced direct mail for Senate Majority PAC which helped Democrat Doug Jones win the special election over Roy Moore. In addition, Trey Ourso was awarded the AAPC Pollie Excellence Award as the 2015 Campaign Strategist of the Year for his work leading Gumbo PAC which was instrumental in Democrat John Bel Edwards’ stunning victory over U.S. Sen. David Vitter in Louisiana governor’s race.
Jacob Kleinrock, Principal & Founder, Triumph Strategies, Fundraising: Nashville native Jacob Kleinrock has worked on political campaigns and for nonprofits in Tennessee and around the country for over a decade. He is a graduate of Martin Luther King Magnet High School in Nashville and Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. After getting his start on campaigns in Nashville, he joined a political and nonprofit consulting firm in Washington, DC for a few years before hitting the campaign trail, raising millions for campaigns in Michigan, Tennessee, Iowa, Maryland, and a presidential race.
Run The World Digital: Heather Colburn, CEO, has been a political consultant for nonprofits, political organizations, campaigns, and candidates for public office for more than 20 years and was recognized as one of the Top 50 Women in the 2012 Elections. She has since gathered a team of seasoned fundraisers and digital and campaign professionals, who have worked on some of the most prominent races in the country.
Carol Brown Andrews, Partner, Grindstone Research LLP, Research: Prior to joining Grindstone in 2011, Andrews advised candidates and elected officials, as well as corporate clients and non-profit executives in strategic communications. The Tennessee native has served as press secretary, communications director and manager for numerous campaigns on the presidential, U.S. Senate, congressional, and gubernatorial level, and she has served in the administrations of former Gov. Chris Gregoire of Washington and Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin. Andrews and her Grindstone partners have produced thousands of research products in about 40 states and overseas.