Ford O’Connell is a political strategist well versed in new media communications, traditional journalism and campaign field operations. Ford is a guest commentator on FOX News, CNN and other broadcast media; he writes regularly for U.S. News & World Report, The Hill's Pundits Blog, The American Spectator, Campaigns & Elections magazine and The Daily Caller. He co-authored a weekly column for TownHall.com on redistricting and the importance of state legislative races during the 2010 election cycle. Ford’s devotion to the conservative causes of limited government, free enterprise and personal responsibility were instilled in him by his grandfather, Henry Salvatori, a longtime Republican activist and advisor to three U.S. Presidents.
Ford’s experience with running the nationwide rural outreach program for the McCain-Palin 2008 presidential campaign and participation in numerous campaign get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts, including Haley Barbour’s gubernatorial campaign in 2007 and Saxby Chambliss’ 2008 senatorial runoff reelection, drives his focus on connecting the evolving capabilities of social media to the best practices of traditional voter outreach. In 2009, Mr. O’Connell co-founded ProjectVirginia to help Virginia Republicans implement innovative digital media and voter mobilization technologies, with the goal of increasing the Republican majority in Virginia’s House of Delegates. ProjectVirginia was recognized by Campaigns & Elections magazine for this effort, winning the inaugural Reed Award for “Best Use of Twitter” for its work on behalf of multiple campaigns during 2009. Mr. O’Connell was also named a 2010 Rising Star by Campaigns & Elections magazine for his work with ProjectVirginia.
A graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law (Juris Doctor), Mr. O’Connell holds graduate degrees from the University of Mississippi (Master of Arts in Southern Studies), Duke University (Master of Public Policy) and Northwestern University (Master of Science in Journalism), and a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College where he was a member of the football, basketball and lacrosse teams.