Joined: 02 Mar 2009
|Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:40 am Post subject: Ford campaign team has harper era experience
|( it appears ford is well prepared for the election with a campaign team nearly ready , many of who are very experiences in politics and elections )
Ford’s tight-knit Ontario election campaign team stacked with Harper-era players
By Laura Ryckewaert Apr. 16, 2018
The Ford campaign team so far includes Kory Teneycke, Jenni Byrne, Chris Froggatt, Dean French, Michael Diamond, Fred DeLorey, Ian Todd, Melissa Lantsman, and Melanie Paradis, among others.
Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford has the advantage of name recognition in the upcoming Ontario election race, says Ken Boessenkool, eliminating the 'heavy lifting that goes on in a campaign for a lesser known candidate.' The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
Ontario’s provincial parties are in campaign-mode, and new Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford has a tight-knit team in place, stacked with experience at both the federal and provincial levels.
“They’ve all spent a ton of time together in the last 10 to 15 years, so even though they were thrown together quickly out of circumstance, it’s a very tight-knit, impressive team,” said Ken Boessenkool, who was previously tapped to shape the Ontario PC platform under former leader Patrick Brown.
Mr. Boessenkool is no longer involved with the campaign. He resigned after sexual misconduct allegations against Mr. Brown were reported by CTV in January and has since returned to Calgary. Mr. Brown denies the allegations and is suing CTV.
Mr. Ford was elected leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party on March 10.
With so little time between becoming leader and the June 7 Ontario provincial election—and with Mr. Ford not currently holding a seat at the provincial legislature—the official opposition leader’s office at Queen’s Park is in the midst of a somewhat suspended transition. OLO staff are generally expected to join the campaign once the writ drops, and new strategists are already on board with Team Ford.
Mr. Ford will be running in Etobicoke North in the upcoming election. The writ is set to drop on May 9, but there’s speculation it could happen even sooner.
Ontario PC MPP Vic Fedeli is currently in charge of the operation of the OLO as acting leader at the legislature. There’s currently no one in place as chief of staff. Former chief of staff Alykhan Velshi departed before the leadership race.
John Sinclair is a deputy chief of staff in the OLO, as is Amin Massoudi, who’s set to play a senior communications role on the campaign once it officially begins.
Amin Massoudi. Photograph courtesy of LinkedIn
Mr. Massoudi is a former strategic adviser with Amir Remtulla & Associates and a former senior consultant with the Capitol Hill Group. He was previously executive assistant to Mr. Ford in his Toronto city councillor’s office, and later tackled communications for then-Toronto mayor Rod Ford.
Mitchell Davidson is director of policy and legislative affairs in the OLO, a role he’s held since 2015, having first joined the office as a policy adviser the year before. He’s expected to play a key role in developing the party’s campaign platform.
Jeff Silverstein is currently director of communications in the OLO, while Simon Jefferies is press secretary. Both are also expected to lend their efforts to the campaign once it’s officially underway. Another current senior OLO staffer is Max Aulbrook, manager of operations and caucus relations, among others.
“There’s parliamentary things that need to get done, and there’s a small group of people in the leader’s office who are getting that done, but that’s not the focus. We’re into the campaign,” said Mr. Boessenkool.
He said the OLO and campaign aides are in regular contact to “set the direction for the day so no one’s running off in strange and odd directions.”
“This is a very disciplined candidate, a very disciplined team,” said Mr. Boessenkool.
Kory Tenecyke. The Hill Times file photograph
Kory Teneycke is Mr. Ford’s campaign manager. A former vice-president of the Sun News Network, Mr. Teneycke has worked for the federal Progressive Conservatives and the Reform and Canadian Alliance parties, including in then-Reform party leader Preston Manning’s office as official opposition leader.
Federally, he also worked as director of the Conservative Caucus Research Bureau; communications director to then prime minister Stephen Harper; and chief spokesperson for Conservative Party’s 2015 campaign. Provincially, he’s a former senior policy adviser to then Ontario PC premier Mike Harris and has worked on various campaigns, including in Alberta and Saskatchewan. He was also part of Mr. Ford’s leadership campaign team. Outside of politics, he’s been executive director of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association, and more recently a director with Coriolis Public Affairs.
Michael Diamond. Photograph courtesy of LinkedIn
Second to Mr. Teneycke is campaign director Michael Diamond, who was campaign manager for Mr. Ford’s leadership bid. Mr. Diamond has worked on campaigns for the Manitoba and Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative parties; was deputy campaign manager to then Ontario PC MPP Peter Shurman in 2007; director of operations for Rob Ford’s successful 2010 mayoral bid; and was part of Conservative MP Kellie Leitch’s recent federal leadership campaign.
Former Ontario PC party vice-president Dean French is chair of Mr. Ford’s campaign. He’s previously been a fundraiser for Rob Ford; an organizer and senior adviser to then-Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day, including on Mr. Day’s leadership campaign; ran unsuccessfully for a seat on Toronto’s city council for Ward 3, Etobicoke Centre, in 2014; and is a former president of the Etobicoke-Lakeshore Conservative riding association.
Chris Froggatt. The Hill Times file photograph
National Public Relations managing partner Chris Froggatt is vice-chair of Mr. Ford’s campaign. A former adviser to Mr. Manning as official opposition leader on the Hill, he went on to work for Ernie Eves’ PC government and later opposition team at Queen’s Park, starting as a senior adviser to then transport minister Brad Clark, and later becoming executive assistant to then Ontario MPP John Baird. Mr. Froggatt returned to the Hill to serve as Mr. Baird’s chief of staff as a minister under the Harper government through a number of portfolios from 2006 to 2010.
“I understand it’s a bit of a three-legged stool, with Kory and Chris and Dean, who are kind of overall setting the main thrust of the campaign,” said longtime Conservative staffer Garry Keller, now a vice-president at StrategyCorp in Ottawa. Mr. Keller is not involved in Mr. Ford’s campaign.
Michael Crase is executive director of the Ontario PC Party, and as such, will be a key player on the campaign. Mr. Crase is a well-known Ontario organizer and campaign manager, including heading Conservative MP Tony Clement’s brief 2017 federal leadership campaign. He’s also a former assistant to Conservative MP Stella Ambler.
Jenni Bryne. Photograph courtesy of Facebook
Jenni Byrne will be a target seat director for the campaign, focused on mapping out key ridings for the team to target. Ms. Byrne is a former senior adviser, director of issues management, and deputy chief of staff to Mr. Harper as prime minister, and ran the Conservative Party’s 2011 and 2015 election campaigns (the former alongside the late Doug Finley). She was also in the federal party’s 2008 campaign war room, and later served as the Conservative Party’s director of operations.
On the campaign, Ms. Byrne will be working closely alongside her successor as Conservative Party operations director, Fred DeLorey, who’s been tapped to serve as the ‘Get Out the Vote’ director for Mr. Ford.
A former communications director for the federal Conservatives, Mr. DeLorey ran unsuccessfully as candidate for the federal party in Central Nova, N.S. in the 2015 election, after which he became a principal with DeLorey & Associates. He also previously served as an Atlantic adviser to Mr. Harper.
Ian Todd. Photograph courtesy of LinkedIn
Ian Todd is director of Mr. Ford’s leader’s tour. He was director of tour for former Conservative minister Jason Kenney’s Alberta leadership campaign, and was director of Mr. Harper’s national tour during the 2008, 2011, and 2015 federal elections. He’s a former policy analyst to Brian Mulroney, a former deputy chief of staff to Mr. Manning, a former chief of staff to Mr. Day as leader, and a former chief of staff to then B.C. Liberal premier Gordon Campbell’s office. Federally, Mr. Todd has also been chief of staff to then human resources minister Monte Solberg and to then heritage minister James Moore.
Melissa Lantsman. Photograph courtesy of LinkedIn
Melissa Lantsman is head of the war room’s communications. A senior director at CIBC Capital Markets for the last two years up until January, she was previously director of communications to former Conservative finance minister Joe Oliver, and at the federal level has also worked for then-foreign affairs minister Lawrence Cannon, then-trade minister Peter Van Loan, and then-environment minister Peter Kent. Ms. Lantsman is also a former senior adviser for public affairs for Coca-Cola Canada and was part of Caroline Mulroney’s recent PC leadership campaign.
Melanie Paradis. Photograph courtesy of LinkedIn
Melanie Paradis is also a senior communications aide to Mr. Ford. She was director of communications for Christine Elliott’s unsuccessful PC leadership campaign, and did the same job for Conservative MP Erin O’Toole’s federal leadership bid in 2017. Ms. Paradis is also a former director of lands, resources and consultation for the Métis Nation of Ontario, and a former manager of public affairs and corporate communications for National Public Relations, among other past jobs.
Andrew Kimber will be the campaign war room’s lead on issues management. He’s been working for Advocis, the Financial Advisors Association of Canada, in Toronto since 2015, and before then was research director for Sun Media. From May 2011 to May 2014, Mr. Kimber was deputy director of issues management for the Ontario PC Party.
Lyndsey Vanstone is Mr. Ford’s executive assistant. She previously served as press secretary during his leadership campaign, and has a background in news, including as a former producer with Newstalk 1010’s The Live Drive with John Tory and as a former assignment editor with CP24, among many other past roles.
Simone Daniels will also be playing a senior role on the Ford campaign. According to LinkedIn, she’s been director of sales, government relations and marketing at Deco Labels & Flexible Packaging, the company owned by Mr. Ford’s family, and was an administrative assistant at Toronto city hall during Rob Ford’s time as mayor.
Patrick Tuns is outreach and nominations director. He’s a former executive assistant to then Conservative MP Parm Gill on the Hill from 2013 up until Mr. Gill’s defeat in the 2015 federal election, and of late, has been working as a consultant with his own firm, according to LinkedIn.
Mr. Keller said at this point in the game, Mr. Ford’s team would be focused on sorting out who all will be in their campaign war room, and he expects more names to be announced as it gets closer to E-day on June 7.
Noting the weight of experience among the Ford team, including aides who’ve worked together in the past, Mr. Keller said he expects it’ll be an integrated team that’ll work well together, without egos getting in the way.
“I don’t think it’s going to be a very siloed campaign at all. I think everybody’s going to put their shoulders to the wheel on this one,” he said.
He’s also expecting Mr. Ford to run a straightforward campaign, “old school style campaign,” heavy on face-to-face interactions.
“At the same time this is 2018, and I think you’ll probably also see a very aggressive online and digital campaign as well,” said Mr. Keller.
He noted there’s been some speculation that Mr. Ford will take a similar election platform approach as Mr. Harper did in the 2006 election, which saw the federal Conservatives unseat Paul Martin’s Liberal government.
“I don’t think you’re going to see a big 80-page platform…. Some have mused that it’ll follow sort of a repeat of Mr. Harper’s 2006 campaign, the five priorities, something easy to communicate to voters at the door,” said Mr. Keller.
Mr. Boessenkool said he expects the upcoming Ontario election to essentially be a “referendum on Kathleen Wynne and the Liberal style of management,” adding an advantage for Team Ford will be their leader’s name recognition.
“He doesn’t suffer from any of the things Brown suffered from in the early days, which is that the people of Ontario didn’t have a clue who he was. Everyone knows who Doug Ford is,” said Mr. Boessenkool.
“A lot of that sort of heavy lifting that goes on in a campaign for a lesser known candidate sort of is already there for him and that’s a huge advantage.”