Rick Allen and his new campaign team

Rick Allen is one of the candidates running against John Barrow in GA-12. Today Allen released who his senior campaign team is to see if the Republicans can take GA-12 away from the Democrats. Full team after the break.

FYI, Rick Allen is not the one that Charlie wrote about after the last BBQ tour.

Allen Announces Senior Campaign Team


AUGUSTA, GA – Augusta businessman Rick Allen today announced the senior campaign team that will work with him in his campaign to unseat liberal democrat John Barrow from Georgia’s 12th Congressional District.

“I am excited to work with this talented group of professionals and look forward to stacking my conservative, small government ideas up against John Barrow’s Washington-first record,” Rick said.  “The people of the 12th District are going to have a clear choice between philosophies come election time and I am eager to engage in the debate.”

Allen’s senior campaign team includes:

Scott Rials, RightPath Strategic Affairs, L.L.C., General Consultant

Scott Rials has a background that combines extensive campaign success for nearly 20 years and has earned a solid reputation for developing, leading and executing proven, winning strategies.

Rials began his career as Field Director for Friends of Newt Gingrich and by 1997 he served as Gingrich’s Campaign Manager. Scott then moved on to take leadership roles in the GA GOP and managed regional campaign efforts with various candidates across the Southeast including Sonny Perdue’s first gubernatorial campaign.  Beginning in 2006, Scott began his own political consulting venture where he continues to serve as a General Consultant to clients from the courthouse to the state house to the U.S. Congress and Presidential candidates.

Lauren Swing, Campaign Manager

Lauren first became interested in politics in the 2008 election cycle. In 2010, she interned at the Scottish Parliament and campaigned for conservatives throughout the United Kingdom.  Lauren graduated in 2011, double majoring in English and Political Science and double minoring in International Studies and British Studies. When she graduated in 2011, she moved to Augusta, GA and worked as the Finance Director on Rick’s campaign in the 2012 cycle. Lauren went on to manage the West Palm Beach campaign office for Congressman Allen West. She then went to Washington, DC and worked in Representative Austin Scott’s office.

Heath Wheat, Finance Director

Upon graduating from the University of South Carolina in 2010 with a BA in Political Science, Heath went to work for Nationwide Insurance. In 2012, Heath began work as a Field Director for Rick W. Allen for Congress. After the 2012 Runoff election Heath moved to Myrtle Beach, SC to join the Tom Rice for Congress campaign team as a Fundraising Coordinator. After their victory in South Carolina’s new 7th Congressional district, Heath joined Representative Rice’s official staff as a Staff Assistant.

DMM Media, Media Consultants

Founded in 2001, DMM Media, LLC has an unparalleled record of success providing media production and strategic counsel to both candidates and independent expenditure campaigns.  They have particular experience developing media for independent expenditure and issue advocacy campaigns, having served the lead media vendor for the NRCC from 2001-2006.  Their candidate clients have included Congressman Tom Graves of Georgia, Congressman Rick Crawford of Arkansas, Congressman Mike Rogers of Alabama, Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, and former U.S. House Speaker Denny Hastert of Illinois.

Dan McLagan, Tactical Communications Solutions, Communications Consultant

Dan McLagan served as a spokesman and public relations strategist for some of the highest profile political candidates of the last two decades and also fought intensive PR battles in the private sector.  In Georgia, McLagan served as Communications Director for Sonny Perdue’s long shot gubernatorial campaign in 2002 and as the Governor’s spokesman at the State Capitol from 2003 to 2007.  He also served as spokesman for former Secretary of State Karen Handel’s campaign for Governor in 2010.  His political clients have included four presidential candidates (Bush ’88 and ’92, Alexander ’96, and McCain 2000) Governors, U.S. Senators (including the late Paul Coverdell) as well as the National Republican Senatorial Committee where he served as Press Secretary 

Ron Butler, Creative Direct, Direct Mail

Ron Butler is President of Creative Direct, one of the most successful Republican voter contact direct mail firms in the nation.  Creative Direct’s clients have included The Republican Governor’s Association, The National Republican Senatorial Committee, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Congressman Tom Graves, Governor Sonny Perdue, Senator Bob Corker, Senator John Thune, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and more than a dozen members of the Georgia House and Senate.  Prior to forming Creative Direct, Ron managed many successful campaigns, and he served for five years as Political Director for the Republican Party of Virginia and worked as Field Director for the Republican National Committee.

Laura Willis Dunaway, Capitol Strategy Group, Fundraising Consultant

Dunaway joined Capitol Strategy Group as a partner in early 2005. She manages many of the firm’s fundraising, marketing, and event planning projects. Dunaway leads the fundraising efforts for Congressman Lynn Westmoreland in Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District and Congressman Tom Graves in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District and serves as a consultant for a number of fundraising projects.

Over the past decade, Dunaway has helped raise the millions of dollars necessary for the victories of Saxby Chambliss’ historic election to the United States Senate, Congressman Lynn Westmoreland’s election in 2004 and Governor Nathan Deal’s successful gubernatorial campaign. After having been involved in trying to unseat the Democratic stronghold in the 8th district of Georgia the past three election cycles, Dunaway was proud to be a part of Congressman Austin Scott’s victory in 2010. She also enjoyed the opportunity to venture outside Georgia and participate in unseating another Democrat in Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District with the election of Congressman Martha Roby.

These campaigns and others have allowed Dunaway the opportunity to plan events for President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and many other Congressional Leaders. Capitol Strategy Group is often called upon to plan and execute events in Georgia by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and Senate and Congressional candidates from outside of Georgia.

Wesley Donehue, Digital Media Consultant

Wesley is quickly becoming known as one of the top political internet consultants in the country. Named a ‘Rising Star’ and ‘Innovator of the Year’ by Campaigns and Elections magazine, Wesley has been working in politics consistently since the age of 15 in South Carolina, where politics is considered a blood sport. He worked for Jim DeMint’s 2004 Senate campaign and then for Mike Bouchard’s 2006 U.S. Senate campaign in Michigan.

In early 2010, Wesley left his role as Vice President of First Tuesday Strategies and President of Under The Power Lines to open Push Digital. In just one year, Push Digital oversaw online strategy for Congressman Joe Wilson, the South Carolina Republican Party and Pam Bondi, current Attorney General. Wesley’s team also helped pick up seats in both the South Carolina State House and State Senate. Wesley has led political and redistricting operations for the South Carolina Senate Republican Caucus for the past five years.

Robert Wilson, Field Director

Robert is a Columbia, SC native and a recent graduate of the University of South Carolina.

Robert interned on the Hill with Rep. Joe Wilson in the summer of 2010 and on his election campaign prior to that.   He also interned with the SC State Treasurers Office in the fall of 2011 and was a Junior Project Manager at Push Digital from August 2012 to July 2013. 


  1. IndyInjun says:

    Wow, that looks like a good $2.5 million in spending. That district is only 54-46% GOP, meaning only a razor thin margin of defection is tolerable. As Napoleon wrote, it is a very impressive team. He is going to need them. Have they ever seen what is about to befall them? Doubtful.

    If you aren’t excited about 2014, you are asleep and not politically aware.

    Barrow is drooling, Obamacare anchor and all.

  2. northside101 says:

    Indy, the district is more Republican than you claim—in 2010 (under the current lines), CD 12 averaged 58 percent Republican in statewide races (61 percent for Isakson and 56 each for Deal and Cagle). No Democratic statewide candidate exceeded 42 percent in the district. Last year, Romney won the district by a 55-44 percent margin over Obama.

    The more relevant question, however, is how does the rural part of the district vote next year? Barrow obviously will win majority-black Richmond County (which went 67 percent for Obama last fall), and Allen of course takes the Columbia portion of CD 12 (71 percent Romney). The two counties will probably cancel each other out, or come close to doing so, next year (for instance, in 2010 Barnes won Richmond by about 13,000 votes, while Deal carried the Columbia portion by about 15,000). So places like Dublin, Statesboro and Douglas (the city, not the county) become critical components in the outcome of this race. Of course there was lots of ticket-splitting last time—as an example, Bulloch County (Statesboro area) gave Obama only 40 percent last year, while Barrow took 52 percent—12-point difference. Laurens County (Dublin area) gave Obama only 38 percent, but Barrow came close to breaking even there at 49 percent.

  3. IndyInjun says:

    This one is going to be VERY, VERY interesting. Allen is a decent man, but his alliances might be fatal, as might be his politics. Well, it looks like he will be spending $millions of his own money this time, so that bevy of consultants will be looking good. The question will be whether the 12th will embrace the blue-blood politics that make Augusta a toxic wasteland. In that light, Columbia County may be closer than you think.

    First, Rick Allen has to get out of the GOP primary. I think with Obamacare on his back, Barrow will finally sink, no matter how much of a battering Allen takes in the GOP primary. Don’t be surprised if there is a late entry into this contest.

    This one will definitely be worth watching because the politics-as-a-contact-sport will emerge.

    • georgiaconservative33 says:

      It looks like himself??? John Stone’s FEC report has him paying a little over $1,000 to Potomac Strategies, but that is it.

  4. I don’t understand the Republican team announcement thing, Handel did it too. Why would voters care who is doing your media? Just seems kind of tacky to me, and I say that as a political consultant.

    • Stefan says:

      True. But isn’t the idea here to say, “I’m well-funded and connected and you aren’t”? It is a way of signalling to donors that you are the serious candidate and to drive the opponent out of the race. I assume they don’t think voters are paying attention yet.

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