WASHINGTON—AKPD, the Chicago based political firm, handled the media and strategy for New York Public Advocate Bill De Blasio who bested a five-candidate field to win the Democratic mayoral primary on Tuesday. The same team at AKPD is advising Bill Daley’s run for governor in Illinois.
The partners in the firm working on the De Blasio/Daley team are John Del Cecato, Larry Grisolano and a new partner, Mike Donilon, who joined the company last month.
“De Blasio won because he staked out a clear message that reflected who he is, the challenges facing New York right now, and a specific plan for how to address those challenges. He told a story that many New Yorkers could relate to, and didn’t get distracted by the sideshows,” ad maker Del Cecato told me.
I took that to be at the least a reference to Anthony Weiner, who ran last.
Donilon, who got to know Daley well when Daley was chairing Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, was added to the firm in August, after he departed the White House, where he served as a senior advisor to Vice President Joe Biden. His brother is National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon.
The firm was founded by President Barack Obama strategist David Axelrod and has offices in Chicago, Washington, New York and Los Angeles. Grisolano and Del Cecato were Obama campaign top advisers.
The firm, staffing up for the 2014 cycle last month also added as a partner Isaac Baker, Deputy Director of Media and Message on Obama’s 2012 re-elect.
Sarah Hegeman, one of the creative’s behind the spots, was named a Vice President for Production. Hegeman will be overseeing production of Daley’s spots.