Dave Heller is one of the top political media consultants and campaign strategists in the Democratic Party. As president of Main Street Communications, an award-winning political media firm, Dave has compiled the best won-loss record in the Democratic Party helping clients win election to Congress.
Dave’s clients have won 11 out of 14 general election open seat races for Congress (open seats being the most contested races). In 2010, Dave’s clients won 4 out of 5 “toss-up” races – the best winning percentage in the Party. In 2012, his clients fared even better, winning 9 out of 10 House races, including two of the four Democrats who won in the reddest districts in the nation, Reps. Mike McIntyre (N.C.) and Collin Peterson (Minn.).
Among his successes are Governor John Baldacci (Maine), Attorneys General Darrell McGraw (W.V.) and Marc Dann (Ohio), and 24 Members of Congress from across the Democratic Party, including now-Senator Joe Donnelly (Ind.) and current U.S. Reps. Sanford Bishop (Ga.), Corrine Brown (Fla.), Elijah Cummings (Md.), Eliot Engel (N.Y.), Marcia Fudge (Ohio), Alan Grayson (Fla.), Raul Grijalva (Ariz.), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (Ill.), Marcy Kaptur (Ohio), John Lewis (Ga.), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Collin Peterson (Minn.), Dutch Ruppersberger (Md.), David Scott (Ga.) and John Yarmuth (Ky.).
What makes Dave’s success unique is the ideological diversity of his clients. Dave has helped elect and re-elect more African-Americans to Congress than any other media consultant, including U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, the former Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. Other African-American clients include current and former U.S. Reps. Frank Ballance (D-N.C.), Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), Corrine Brown (D-Fla.), Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.), John Lewis (D-Ga.), David Scott (D-Ga.), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Al Wynn (D-Md.). Heller also has made all of the ads for U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) over the past 12 years in a plurality-Hispanic district.
Dave has also helped elect many of the “Blue Dog” Democrats in Congress, the party’s most conservative voices, including their co-founder, U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.). Other “Blue Dog” clients have included U.S. Reps. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), Allen Boyd (D-Fla.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Ken Lucas (D-Ky.), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), David Phelps (D-Ill.) and David Scott (D-Ga.). From the far left to the right, Dave has helped win many of the party’s toughest races.
Dave has also had success in mayoral races. He helped elect the first woman mayor of Cleveland, Jane Campbell; the first African-American mayor in St. Louis, Freeman Bosley, Jr.; the Mayor of Syracuse, Matt Driscoll; and, in 2010, helped businessman Greg Fischer, who had never before held public office, become Mayor of the consolidated government of Louisville/ Jefferson County.
Dave is best known for his creative TV and radio ads: he has been awarded 18 Pollie Awards from his peers at the American Association of Political Consultants for his ads. In 1996, Heller was named a “Rising Star in American Politics” by Campaigns & Elections magazine.
Dave graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with honors from Brown University and earned a Master’s Degree in Politics from Oxford University (Nuffield College). He went on to Yale University, where he completed his Master’s Thesis and taught his own undergraduate seminar on 20th Century American politics.
An avid baseball fan, Dave owns the Quad Cities River Bandits, the Houston Astros’ minor league Single-A affiliate and the 2013 Midwest League champions; the Bandits’ ballpark, Modern Woodmen Park, was voted the Best Minor League Ballpark in America (2013) by the readers of USA Today and 10Best.com. He and his wife, June, the former finance director of the Ohio Democratic Party, have two young boys – Dylan (6) and Cade (3).