Creative Consultant (IE Division)
Jeff Bakken is a talented writer and big idea guy who has created political communications for numerous Republican candidates and elected officials.
Jeff cut his teeth in politics in 2000, serving as the Communications Director for former U.S. Representative Mark Kennedy’s initial run for Congress in Minnesota, when Kennedy upset incumbent Democrat Congressman David Minge.
Jeff then worked for four years as a Communications Specialist with the Minnesota House GOP Caucus at the Capitol in St. Paul. Jeff was the Press Secretary to the Speaker and Majority Leader during the 2003-2004 Legislative Session, and he was a key strategist for the Minnesota House Republican Campaign Committee.
Jeff worked as a freelance political direct mail consultant and as a Senior Account Executive with the Twin Cities office of a leading public relations agency.
Jeff has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota. He is an avid University of Minnesota hockey fan and a walking-and-talking political encyclopedia.
Jeff lives in Maple Grove, Minn., with his wife, Kirsten, and their twin sons.
Creative Consultant (Candidate Division)
Sandra began her career as a political reporter for the Associated Press in South Dakota, but as a life-long Republican moved naturally into PR writing and promotional design in the Minnesota House of Representatives, working for 8 years as media specialist and Assistant Director of Communications as Republicans took the majority in 1998. She has worked in the Minnesota Senate in communications since 2007, helping them take majority for the first time in 2010.
Sandra has worked independently as political communications designer and advisor for nearly 14 years and helped elect over a hundred Republicans to seats in the Minnesota and Wisconsin Legislature, as well as city and school board seats. She also served three terms on her local city council.
She lives with her husband Shawn near the St. Croix River with a house full of pets and enjoys motorcycle trips, the Minnesota Twins, American History, and is a bit of a computer geek.
Grant Sanders, Magic Light Images
Grant Sanders is a premier image-maker who can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, the mundane into the superb and produce campaign photographs that win hearts, minds and votes. Grant doesn’t just take photos; he’s on the ground with you, learning your district and creating an image profile unique to each individual candidate.
Grant has seen the Republican political landscape through the lens of his camera. He has photographed parades, forums, fundraisers and numerous political events, as well as created personal portraits of candidates and their families. Grant works around a candidate’s busy schedule and under tight timelines to create images which showcase a candidate’s strengths.
Grant has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech-Theater and Asian Studies from St. Olaf College and Juris Doctor Degrees from Drake University and the University of Washington. He enjoys international travel, gourmet cooking and refinishing furniture. He lives in Faribault, Minn., with his wife, Catherine, and daughter, Annie.
Jennifer DeJournett, Statistical Analysis & Research Associate (SARA)
SARA’s goal is to apply rigorous statistical methods to past election results to help determine future trends and give Republican candidates a competitive electoral edge.
SARA’s statistical methods are well established, having been used within the academic and research communities for over 100 years. SARA brings these powerful techniques to the “real world,” providing practical results that can be used by candidates.
In the current political environment, where even U.S. Senate races are decided by a few hundred votes, such a competitive edge is the difference between winning and losing.
Scott Schweitzer, The Strategy Group for Media
Founded in 1994, The Strategy Group for Media produces the most creative and compelling political advertising in the United States today.
We go beyond standard political advertising by producing spots that don’t just move people – they move votes.
The Strategy Group for Media believes in telling your story by producing ads that touch the heart and appeal to the mind.
We have been blessed with an opportunity to change America for the better by helping elect good people to public office.
Bob Shipman, BillsandVotes.com
When it comes down to it, voting – the simple act of pushing the green button for Yes or the red button for No – is really the core responsibility of state legislators. It’s a job that is simple, but it is far from easy. BillsandVotes.com exists to document the hundreds of roll call votes taken each year in the Minnesota Legislature. We provide a summary of each vote and then assign a score to the vote. We consider our commentary to be pretty objective, but some folks might see us as leaning towards the conservative side of things.