Dan Kelly is a driven, hyper-organized, creative political operative with a passion for building campaign organizations and taking on tough fights. Dan is happiest when he is working to change broken systems (inside or outside of an organization), pushing people to think about issues differently, or helping clients navigate through chaos and controversy to accomplish their goals.
Over the last fifteen years, Dan has managed campaigns, led field programs, helped build campaign organizations, or designed training programs in 18 US states and 8 countries. His clients have included national campaigns, Fortune 100 companies, advocacy clients facing tough issue battles, six state Democratic parties, and campaigns from school board to Governor.
Across all of these experiences, Dan has seen that campaigns need three things to win: 1) a specific strategy, 2) a measurable plan, and 2) a disciplined campaign organization that can move quickly and produce results. Great policy ideas and analyzing data matter, but campaigns won’t see the benefits of either without a specific plan and the discipline to produce results everyday. His focus is on helping campaigns plan, build an organization, and produce the results they need to accomplish their political goals.
His experience includes management of nearly three-hundred full time staff, responsibility for budgets as large as $9M, and a track record of winning difficult races. Outside of electoral politics, Dan has led successful issue campaigns including national lobbying efforts for Social Security and Medicare issues, public health campaigns. and campaigns for corporate clients including a top rideshare app.
In 2010, Dan helped a Gubernatorial campaign grow from polling at 7% in a crowded primary to defeating two of the top ten self-funders of 2010, electing the first Democratic Governor in 26 years (only one of a handful to switch from Republican to Democratic control in 2010). In 2008, Dan managed a Congressional race which began as a top target but ended with a decisive 60-40 victory and over-performed Obama by the largest margin of any congressional race in the country).
Dan has led successful coordinated field campaigns in Wisconsin and Virginia, and served as Executive Director of the Connecticut Democratic state party. His experience includes leading field programs that helped elect the first re-election of Democratic Governor and flipped control of the legislature in Wisconsin, flipped the Virginia State Senate to Democratic control on behalf of Governor Tim Kaine and protected Democratic seats in Connecticut in a difficult special election for Democrats.
Outside of politics, Dan is a real estate investor and licensed real estate agent. He is an avid traveler that has been to 51 countries, a martial arts fan with black belts in two martial arts, and reads a book a week.