Hot on the heels of a major political victory, Pat Gerard campaign manager Tom Alte has launched his own political consulting firm.
Blue Ticket Consulting officially opened for business Monday.
Alte moved to St. Petersburg last year and quickly entered the political arena, taking the helm of former Largo Mayor Pat Gerard’s campaign for Pinellas County Commission. Despite other Democrats being largely out-funded by Republican opposition, Alte and Gerard managed to keep pace with former State Rep. Ed Hooper’s strong financial backing. Hooper raised just $41,000 more than Gerard, who managed to bring in $200,000. The Democrat in a similar contest in Hillsborough County only raised half that.
Alte said his goal is to build Democratic involvement in local politics by working with candidates to maximize their fundraising potential. He says with the right teams in place and with enough guidance, Democrats can begin to match GOP fundraising.
Alte launched the business after noticing three challenges he says Democrats face – local candidates are underserved, stretched thin and under-staffed. Those are problems Alte hopes to correct.
“We’re taking lessons learned on top-tier races and making them available to anyone willing to serve. That means dedicated staff to support your candidacy, organized and proven fundraising methods to finance your plan, and the political structure to deliver your message,” Alte writes on his website.
Alte previously worked as the finance director for St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman’s campaign that unseated incumbent Republican Bill Foster. Under his guidance, the Kriseman campaign raised nearly $500,000, more than any previous candidate. He also worked as deputy campaign manager for David Gill during the 2012 congressional race in Illinois. That bid, however, was unsuccessful.
Alte’s partner, both professionally and romantically, is Meagan Salisbury. Salisbury also worked on the Illinois congressional campaign. She also managed Scott Orsini’s campaign against State Rep. Kathleen Peters. The campaign was unsuccessful, but Orsini’s polling numbers jumped impressively during the final weeks of campaigning. Salisbury is also a law student at Stetson University College of Law.
Look for Alte to get his feet wet during upcoming municipal elections in places like Gulfport and St. Pete Beach.