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 30 different Members of Congress.
In 2022, Dave had one of his best years. U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (Ohio), a top Republican target, won re-election by the largest margin of any Democrat to win in a district Trump carried in 2020 (+13.5). She also had the largest percentage of the vote above President Biden’s 2020 vote share of any Member of Congress! In addition, U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop (Ga.), another top Republican target, won by double-digits in a toss-up district and Dutch Ruppersberger (Md.) won by 19 points despite facing his stiffest challenge in years.
Helping Democrats win in “red districts” is what Dave does best. In 2010, his clients won 4 out of 5 “toss-up” races for Congress – the best record in the party, including U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly (Ind.), who won in a R+6 district – the only one of 15 targeted Democrats in a four-state region to win re-election. In 2012, his 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 (Minn.) winning re-election by 9 points in a R+14 seat. In 2016 and again in 2018, Heller helped re-elect Rep. Peterson with 52% of the vote, despite his running in a district in which Hillary Clinton garnered just 30.7% — the “reddest” district in the nation to be represented by a Democrat.
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 (N.C.), Sanford Bishop (Ga.), Corrine Brown (Fla.), John Conyers (Mich.), Marcia Fudge (Ohio), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (Ill.), John Lewis (Ga.), David Scott (Ga.), Maxine Waters (Calif.), Al Wynn (Md.), and the late Elijah Cummings (Md.) who in 2003 performed Dave’s wedding. Dave has also helped elect many “Blue Dog” Democrats, the party's most conservative voices, including its co-founder, Rep.Collin Peterson. Other Blue Dog clients include Reps. Bishop, Allen Boyd (Fla.), Donnelly, Ken Lucas (Ky.), McIntyre, David Phelps (Ill.) and David Scott (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 the former Mayor of Baltimore, Catherine Pugh, and former Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. He also help edelect 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.
Dave is best known for his creative TV and radio ads: he has earned 19 Pollie Awards from his peers at 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 summacum 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). He also taught his own undergraduate seminar at Yale University.
An avid baseball fan, Dave owns the minor league Quad Cities River Bandits, the Kansas City Royals’ Advanced-A affiliate and the only Midwest League club to win four championships in ten seasons. Dave’s team was named “Team of the Year” by Ballpark Digest for 2021. The team’s ballpark was voted “Best Minor League Ballpark in America” by readers of USA Today and 10Best.com. Five times, Dave’s club has won Ballpark Digest’s “Best Ballpark Improvement Award.” The team also won Ballpark Digest’s “Commitment to Charity” award in 2015, 2017, and 2019 (no other team has won twice) and multiple U.S. Army Gold Awards for community service. In 2016, Dave’s organization, Main Street Baseball, was named Minor League Baseball Organization of the Year. Dave also serves on the Board of Genesis Health System, an IBM Watson Top-15 hospital. He and his wife, June, have two sons – Dylan (15) and Cade (12).