Case Study: General Consulting

Dave Pine for Supervisor

San Mateo County, California


In early 2011, a special election was called to fill a vacancy on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. TBW’s longtime client and San Mateo High School District Trustee Dave Pine immediately filed to run in a formidable field including two opponents with much higher name identification due to multiple runs for the State Assembly. Making the race even more complicated was the fact that at the time, San Mateo County was the last county in the State of California to elect County Supervisors by a countywide vote- resulting in a voter universe significantly larger than a congressional district.

As general consultants, TBW worked with Pine and his campaign manager to implement a comprehensive field and neighborhood coffee program, earn the endorsements of popular elected officials and organizations, and raise more than $500,000 in less than 5 months. After internal polling three weeks before the election showed Pine in a distant 3rd place due to his relatively low name identification, TBW designed a forceful and creative mail program for the last two weeks of the campaign that simultaneously built Pine’s name ID while drawing a hard-hitting comparison with both of his top opponents. When all of the votes were counted, Pine finished in first place with 27% of the vote, a margin of victory of less than 1,000 votes.

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