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Missourians for John Brunner Announces Formation of Campaign Team


Jefferson City, MO – John Brunner today announced his campaign team bringing together experienced and proven professionals from both business and politics.


“Throughout Missouri I hear from fellow citizens who are fed up with politicians who can’t get anything done. Missourians are looking for a tested and proven leader,” John Brunner said. “Missourians are ready for a citizen governor with the “Can do, get it done” experience of a CEO. With the best campaign team in America we will win this election and get Missouri working again.”


In order to win in 2016 Brunner has recruited experienced campaign and business professionals to lay the groundwork for his campaign.


“This organization will be similar to a millennial generation start-up; a strategically recruited and results-driven team of the best talent, boldness and innovation, sharing the goal of electing a citizen Governor,” Brunner said. “The message I hear throughout the state is resoundingly clear: Missourians are tired of excuses coming from eight years of failed leadership – and they want a candidate who can beat Chris Koster.”


Brunner has assembled a national and Missouri-based Management and Strategy Team to execute the campaign’s strategic plan, including:

  • Chief of Staff Paul Holzer (Boston, MA): Paul Holzer is Chief of Staff to John Brunner. He served as a United States Navy SEAL Officer from 2003-2013, deploying to combat four times including Iraq and Afghanistan; he ultimately attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander and was awarded two Bronze Stars. Mr. Holzer also holds a Master’s Degree in engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and later applied both skill sets as Executive Director of Massachusetts Victory and as a chief architect for the voter contact strategy in the 2014 Massachusetts election cycle on behalf of Republican Charlie Baker. Governor Baker was elected by a margin of 40,000 votes.
  • Senior Advisor Beth Myers (Boston, MA): Beth Myers is former Chief of Staff to Governor Mitt Romney, and served in leadership roles to Romney for President (Campaign Manager – 2008, Senior Advisor – 2012), and advisor to Scott Brown (2010). Beth also served as Director to the Commonwealth Future super PAC.
  • David Barklage/Barklage & Knodell (Jefferson City, MO): Barklage & Knodell is a full-service political consulting firm that specializes in vendor management, planning, message development, research and strategy for candidates, committees, trade associations and issue campaigns.
  • Political Director Robert Knodell (Holts Summit, MO): Robert Knodell has led or advised over 200 campaigns in the State of Missouri. He has served as Political Director of the Missouri Republican Party, and Executive Director of the Missouri Republican House Campaign Committee (HRCC).
  • John Thompson/Thompson Communications, Inc. (Marshfield, MO): Thompson Communications, Inc. is a national, full-service advertising, marketing and communications company, specializing in media placement and production for a select group of candidates, ballot issues, public policy issue clients, commercial companies, and institutions.


“John Brunner is a genuine, highly respected man of character, who is the only candidate running to be a ‘citizen’ Governor. He is looking for solutions for Missouri, not to fulfill lifelong political aspirations,” Brunner Campaign Manager and Chief of Staff Paul Holzer said. “Without question, John has the most real-world executive experience, and has created more jobs than all other candidates in this race combined.”


To ensure the Campaign has the needed resources to win the primary and general election, Brunner has assembled a Finance and Compliance Team to direct fundraising efforts and ensure compliance with Missouri’s campaign finance regulations. The team includes:

  • Senior Finance Advisor Magan Munson (Boston, MA):  Magan Munson has extensive experience in fundraising at both the state and national level having worked for the RNC during the 2014 cycle and Governor Romney’s Presidential Campaign in 2012.
  • Finance and Political Advisor Tom Carter (Ozark, MO):  Tom Carter is a 30-year veteran of Missouri political campaigns having worked with Senator Roy Blunt from Missouri for 26 years from the beginning of Sen. Blunt’s political career as Secretary of State. Tom has also served in key leadership roles for Governor Matt Blunt’s campaign in 2004, and with Congresswoman Vicki Hartzler.
  • Finance Consultant Katie McGurk (Kansas City, MO): Katie McGurk is Principal at The KAM Co. She has served as Finance Director for Moran for US Senate, in addition to serving in finance operations of Pawlenty for President (2011), Brunner for US Senate (2012), Romney for President (2008), the NRSC and RNC, and numerous other statewide and federal campaigns.
  • Williams-Keepers LLC (Jefferson City, MO): Williams-Keepers serves as the Brunner campaign finance compliance staff.
  • The Bespoke Group (Columbia, MO): The Bespoke Group consults clients on political law, government affairs and compliance for both candidates and political action committees. Bespoke has extensive experience in both federal and statewide campaigns and provides legal counsel to Missourians for John Brunner.


Rounding out the organization Brunner has selected a Communications Advisory Team to ensure his message resonates among voters, including:

  • Communications Director Mike Hafner (St. Louis, MO): Mike Hafner has advised numerous candidates at both the state and national level. He has previously served as Campaign Manager for Rick Stream for St. Louis County Executive (2014), Political Director for Peter Kinder for Lt. Governor (2012), and also serves as State Legislative Director for Missouri Century Foundation.
  • Digital Strategy – Rob Willington (Boston, MA): Rob Willington is President of SwiftKurrent, an award-winning digital marketing agency. He has served as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Republican Party (2008), served as digital strategist for Scott Brown’s victorious special election (2010), and numerous other candidates in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Steve Allen/SalientPoint LLC (Boston, MA): A communications consultant for more than 20 years, Stephen Allen specializes in message development, speech writing, media and public speaking coaching, as well as high stakes-debate preparation.   He has provided coaching in more than 90 ballot campaigns and has counseled or coached dozens of state governors, members of congress, ambassadors and candidates for federal and statewide offices.


Team Brunner also has an exclusive partnership with one of the premier data and voter contact platforms in the country, which has been recently utilized to achieve success in campaigns around the country.


“John Brunner is approaching this campaign as he did during his service as a US Marine and as the CEO of Vi-Jon. John is ALL-IN to win, and will work hard behind a well-executed plan for the next 482 days until he is elected Governor,” Holzer said.


Brunner plans to announce additional staff and Finance Committee members prior to officially launching his gubernatorial campaign later this year.