John wins campaigns by tailoring unique and creative strategies that meet the particular needs of each client he serves. John does not rely on a single campaign methodology or pattern; he builds campaigns to fit the strategic situation of each race. In addition to his expertise in political strategy, John brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in creating and producing a wide variety of compelling campaign media, including award-winning direct mail, outdoor media, broadcast advertising, web sites, vote-by-mail programs and grassroots organizing efforts.
John focuses mainly on local ballot measures, including public finance measures that help communities build, improve and expand their infrastructure and vital public and civic institutions. Over the past 20 years, his winning campaigns have helped raise billions of dollars for local schools, hospitals, libraries and transportation and transit systems.
John played a leading role in the successful 2006 campaign in support of statewide infrastructure bond Propositions 1A-1E. Other prominent campaigns for which John has developed the winning strategy include Regional Measure 2, Contra Costa County Measure J and Alameda County Measure B. He has also guided successful municipal ballot measures on behalf of civic institutions, including the San Francisco Moscone Center, the Los Angeles Zoo, the San Francisco Zoo and the San Francisco Public Library.
John began his career in Democratic politics in 1983 on U.S. Senator Gary Hart’s first Presidential campaign. During that campaign, John served as a Congressional District Director for the Iowa Caucus, state coordinator of Pennsylvania and congressional district regional coordinator in California. After Senator Hart’s campaign, John was the Executive Director of the Democratic Foundation of Orange County, California, where he directed political fundraising and managed voter registration drives. At Clinton Reilly Campaigns in San Francisco, John played key roles in overall campaign management, media buying, slate-card operations, and strategy and media development for some of the largest political campaigns in California history, including statewide ballot measures and candidate campaigns.
John has worked with many candidates, including former San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr., California State Senate President Don Perata, former Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown and state Assemblymembers Mark Leno and Noreen Evans.
John earned his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from The American University in Washington, D.C. When John is not leading winning campaigns, he spends time crafting his own wines, which can be found at www.whitehurstwines.com.
From highly effective door hangers and lawn signs to poignant video profiles of candidates and hard-hitting direct mail pieces, Mark develops a wide range of political communications and media that influence decision makers and win votes. He is as comfortable behind the lens of a camera as he is in front of it, and he understands that the most effective messaging and communications derive from solid research and thorough understanding of the objectives.
Mark began his career in New York as an associate reporter for Fortune magazine, and then moved to San Francisco as a senior account executive at the Osborne Group, a public relations firm specializing in media relations. At Solem & Associates, a public affairs/political consulting firm, he developed award-winning communications and community outreach plans for clients, including corporations, political campaigns, public agencies, and development interests.