Case Study

Katie Hill for Congress

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Winner – Gold Pollie Award for “Best in Show – Overall Democratic Campaign”

Winner – Reed Award for “Best Use of Drone Footage in a TV Ad”

With rapidly changing demographics, California’s 25th Congressional District had been on the National Democrats’ list of targeted seats to flip for several cycles. This only intensified after Hillary Clinton carried the district by 7 points in 2016. In early 2017, housing and homelessness advocate and political newcomer Katie Hill approached SKDK about running for the seat – one that she grew up and still lives in.

The path to Katie winning in November first included winning a competitive 5-way open, or “jungle,” primary, one that included beating the favorite and well known 2016 Democratic candidate as well as two other Democratic women. SKDK provided earned media and messaging guidance and strategic political advice throughout the campaign in addition to running the mail and paid media campaigns. In likely what is a first for any political campaign, we introduced Katie to voters with an ad showing her favorite pastime – rock climbing.

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Katie got through the open primary, winning by just 2,686 votes, pitting her against incumbent Steve Knight in November.

For the general election, SKDK again ran both the mail and paid media efforts – ultimately producing the dozens of targeted direct mail pieces, television, digital and online ads; and Spanish digital and radio spots. Katie won by an incredible 9 points, outperforming the 2016 Democratic candidate by 15 points, Hillary Clinton by 2 points, and the 2018 gubernatorial candidate by 7 points.