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 15 out of 19 general election open seat races for Congress (open seats being the most contested races). Overall, he has handled the media for 25 different Members of Congress.
In 2010, Dave’s clients won 4 out of 5 “toss-up” races for Congress – the best record in the Party, including then-U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly (Ind.), the only one of 15 targeted Democrats in a four-state region to win re-election. In 2012, Dave’s clients fared even better, winning 9 of 10 House races, including Rep. Mike McIntyre (N.C.), who won the closest House race in the country in a R+13 district. In 2014, while Democrats nationally lost 16 seats, Dave’s clients won 8 out of 10 races, including Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) winning re-election by 9 points. In 2016 and again in 2018, Heller helped re-elect Rep. Peterson with 52% of the vote, despite his running in the reddest district in the country to be held by a Democrat (Hillary Clinton garnered just 31% of the vote).
Among Dave’s successes are Governor John Baldacci (Maine), Attorneys General Darrell McGraw (W.V.) and Marc Dann (Ohio), and 25 Members of Congress, including Sen. Donnelly and U.S. Reps. Sanford Bishop (Ga.), Steve Cohen (Tenn.), Elijah Cummings (Md.), Eliot Engel (N.Y.), Marcia Fudge (Ohio), Alan Grayson (Fla.), Raul Grijalva (Ariz.), 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 current and former U.S. Reps. Frank Ballance (D-N.C.), Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), Corrine Brown (D-Fla.), the late John Conyers (D-Mich.), the late Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.), the late John Lewis (D-Ga.), David Scott (D-Ga.), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Al Wynn (D-Md.).
Dave has also helped elect many of the congressional "Blue Dog" Democrats, the party's most conservative voices, including its co-founder, Rep. Collin Peterson. Other "Blue Dog" clients have included Reps. Sanford Bishop, Allen Boyd (D-Fla.), Joe Donnelly, Ken Lucas (D-Ky.), Mike McIntyre, 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 won many mayoral races. He helped elect Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and helped re-elect Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. He has helped elect the first woman mayor of Cleveland, Jane Campbell; the first African-American mayor in St. Louis, Freeman Bosley, Jr.; the first Democrat in 16 years in Syracuse, Matt Driscoll; and businessman Greg Fischer, mayor of Louisville/ Jefferson County, Kentucky.
A particular expertise of Dave’s is redistricting. In 2011 and again in 2021, Dave was hired by Clark County, Nevada, a county of 2, 265,000 people, to handle their redistricting efforts. Both times his maps passed with a unanimous 7-0 vote. He is also handling redistricting for the City of Evansville and Ramsey County, Minn.
Dave is best known for his creative TV and radio ads: he has earned 18 Pollie Awards from the American Association of Political Consultants for his ads. In 1996, Dave 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 (M.Litt) from Oxford University (Nuffield College) after defending his Master’s thesis. He went on to Yale, where he taught his own undergraduate seminar on 20th century political protest movements.
An avid baseball fan, Dave owns the Quad Cities River Bandits, the Kansas City Royals’ High-A affiliate, and the Wilmington Blue Rocks, the High-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. The readers of USA Today and 10Best.com voted the Bandits’ ballpark, Modern Woodmen Park, “Best Minor League Ballpark in America.” The Bandits have won Ballpark Digest’s “Best Ballpark Improvement Award” five times. The Bandits also won Ballpark Digest’s “Commitment to Charity” award four times since 2015 (no other team has even won twice). In 2016, his organization, Main Street Baseball, was named Ballpark Digest’s Minor League Baseball Organization of the Year, one of the industry’s most prestigious awards. He and his wife, June, live in Davenport, Iowa, with their two sons – Dylan (14) and Cade (11).