WE WIN THE TOUGH ONES
Ralston Lapp Media has been battle-tested in some of the toughest races in the country -- helping Democrats win difficult primaries and unseat Republicans in ruby red states and districts -- winning 80% of our races.”
Jason Ralston brings extensive experience in advertising and media strategy, political and issue campaign management, and message development. A veteran of electoral and issue campaigns, he knows how to manage crises and develop long-term media strategies that get results.
Ralston was a senior member of the 2008 Obama Media Team, an all-star collection of Democratic media consultants. The Washington Post called him “one of Obama’s lead admakers.”
Ralston served as key strategist and admaker to Governor Mark Dayton, while helping to elect and re-elect eight members of Congress, including Representatives Cheri Bustos, Gabrielle Giffords and Tim Walz. In addition, he has led major ad campaigns for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Senate Majority PAC and League of Conservation Voters to help elect Senators Tammy Baldwin, Joe Donnelly, Martin Heinrich, Jon Tester and Elizabeth Warren.
Ralston has used his campaign experience to help many organizations solve complex communications challenges. He provided strategic advice and produced award-winning advertising for the AARP, AFSCME, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Comcast, League of Conservation Voters, Massachusetts Teachers Association, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, as well as the New Jersey and Washington departments of health.
Before co-founding Ralston Lapp Media, Ralston was a partner at the media firm GMMB. He also served as communications advisor to N.C. Governor Jim Hunt and S.C. Lt. Governor Nick Theodore. A native of upstate New York, he is a graduate of Vassar College. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife, Kial and daughters, Charlotte and Louisa.
John Lapp has worked on the front lines of political campaigns, message strategy, crisis management, and issue advocacy for over two decades. He’s directed and produced creative advertising that include candidates and organizations at every level -- Governors, U.S. Senators, Members of Congress, and challengers, the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Governors Association, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Priorities USA (the Super PAC supporting President Obama’s re-election).
Lapp served as key strategist and admaker to Governor Mark Dayton. For the DSCC, Majority PAC, and the League of Conservation Voters, Lapp led major advertising campaigns that helped elect Tammy Baldwin, Joe Donnelly, Martin Heinrich, Tim Kaine, and Elizabeth Warren, and re-elect Jon Tester and Jeanne Shaheen to the U.S. Senate. In addition to his work in media consulting, Lapp’s political experience includes the direct management of campaigns and political communications.
The Washington Post called Lapp, “one of the principal architects of the Democrats’ takeover of the House.” Lapp served as Executive Director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee under former Congressman Rahm Emanuel, and later, Independent Expenditure Director for the Committee. For the first time since 1994, Lapp helped deliver a Democratic majority to Congress without sacrificing a single Democratic incumbent -- something not achieved since 1922.
Lapp oversaw the re-election of Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack and headed the Iowa presidential campaign of Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt. Lapp pulled off against-all-odds victories in the open seat races of Ken Lucas in rural Kentucky and Steve Israel in suburban New York. Lapp went on to serve as their chiefs of staff.
Lapp is a graduate of the University of Virginia, with an MPA from George Washington University. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife, Alixandria and sons Truman, Thomas, and Jackson.
Ellery Gould has worked in Democratic politics for over 15 years. He has directed and produced advertising for Democratic candidates and campaign committees at every level.
Prior to joining Ralston Lapp Media, Gould served as a campaign manager, political strategist, and direct mail consultant; doing everything from managing a top tier nail-biter of a U.S. Senate race to developing the successful campaign strategy for a Caribbean Prime Minister.
In addition to his campaign work, Gould served as a senior political and policy advisor to Mayor Bill Purcell of Nashville. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he worked as a communications and policy adviser to Congressman Charlie Melancon of Louisiana.
A big believer in energizing the next generation of political leaders and operatives, Gould has taken his knowledge and experience into the classroom. Since 2007 he has taught campaign management and communications seminars to over 1,000 candidates, managers, staffers, and activists.
An avid rock and ice climber and adventurous traveler, Gould has explored dozens of countries and made technical ascents on four continents. He would have finished his American Mountain Guide Association certification years ago if winning elections didn't keep getting in the way.
Bridget Smith serves as Ralston Lapp Media's Director of Operations.
In that capacity, Smith is the behind-the-scenes force of Ralston Lapp Media, serving as the de-facto head of Accounting, Human Resources, Information Technology, and Research. Before joining the Ralston Lapp team, Smith worked in Operations for the Human Rights Campaign, organizing hundreds of PRIDE events nation-wide. Under her direction, the HRC stayed under-budget in their projected purchasing and shipping of goods.
Smith also worked in Business Development at the Association for Manufacturing Technology, helping member companies develop their business worldwide, while also bolstering AMT's own resources. At AMT, Smith served as the liaison between all five international hubs and the main U.S. office, and maintained all budgets. In addition, Smith served as an Assistant Project Manager for the development of a multi-million dollar real-estate investment deal, projected to serve as the Association's main source of income in the coming years.
Smith graduated from American University with a dual degree in Business Administration and Film & Media Arts.
Cesar J. Blanco
Cesar Blanco has worked in Democratic politics for nearly two decades. Blanco served as a Congressional Relations Officer for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and started his career as a Military Intelligence Analyst in the U.S. Navy. Thereafter, Blanco managed the campaign of Congressman Ciro Rodriguez (TX-23) and served the Congressman in a variety of capacities, including Chief of Staff and District Director. He is a former Chief of Staff to Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18) and Congressman Pete Gallego (TX-23), and was a Caseworker and Field Representative for Congressman Silvestre Reyes (TX-16). In addition, Blanco served as Interim Director and Political Director for the Latino Victory Project. Blanco also worked as the Arizona State Director for Obama for America for the 2012 Presidential Election and was the Western Region Political Director for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) – serving as the Democratic Party’s principal liaison and political advisor for the West while working with 13 state parties and coordinating with the White House, Cabinet members, and the DNC Chair and Vice Chairs. Blanco is serving his second term as a State Representative for Texas House District 76 in El Paso, Texas. He was named by Texas Monthly Magazine as one of the best legislators in Texas. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso.