Buckeye Battle PAC, the independent expenditure committee supporting Cleveland businessman Mike Gibbons in his U.S. Senate bid, has expanded its senior leadership team with two highly experienced political leaders, the group’s executive director said today.
“We are very excited to have Gentry Collins and Eric Woolson join our growing team,” said executive director Bob Ellsworth. “Both bring to Buckeye Battle PAC not just their decades of experience in building winning political coalitions to growing small and large businesses, but their shared passion for defeating Sherrod Brown next November.”
Gentry Collins joins as the senior political advisor, overseeing strategy and coalitions. During the 2010 election cycle, Collins served as the national political director at the Republican National Committee, tasked with building get-out-the-vote infrastructure nationwide. Under his direction the Republican Party made more volunteer voter contacts than any other cycle in history. The unprecedented ground game in 2010 played a major role in returning a Republican majority to Congress.
Before the RNC, Collins served as the Midwestern regional campaign manager for McCain-Palin 2008 where he helped carry Missouri, the only target state Senator McCain won. Collins served as former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s Iowa state director and advisor, directing the Iowa Straw Poll and Caucus efforts, where his team helped take Romney from single digits in February 2007 to national frontrunner for the Republican nomination just one year later.
During the 2006 cycle, Collins served as national political director for the Republican Governors Association, engaging in gubernatorial races and independent expenditure efforts in 36 states. He has also served as executive director and deputy chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa. While there he helped carry Iowa in 2004 for Bush-Cheney, one of just two states that switched from Gore in 2000 to Bush in 2004. It was also the first time a Republican won Iowa since Ronald Reagan’s 1984 re-election.
Eric Woolson joins Buckeye Battle PAC as the director of communications. Woolson is a former communications director for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who was recently confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to China. Best known for managing former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign to a stunning victory in the 2008 Iowa caucuses, he has served in communications roles for six presidential candidates, numerous state and federal candidates and at three Republican National Conventions.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. The people of Ohio recognize that we keep electing career politicians over and over and expect to change the culture in Washington,” Collins said. “Defeating Sherrod Brown in 2018 and changing things in Washington is going to require us to do something different — and that ‘something different’ is to give voters the choice between career politicians and Mike Gibbons.”
Woolson added, “I’m excited and honored to help share Mike Gibbons’ story with people across Ohio because his commitment to put them ahead of political interests, his success as a self-made businessman and his common-sense approach of the state’s challenges and opportunities are certain to resonate with them. Mike Gibbons offers Ohio something other than politics as usual and that’s something that’s needed now more than ever.”
Ellsworth said Buckeye Battle PAC’s mission is to “let every Ohioan who is tired of being told Washington will solve your problem only to see things get worse around them to know there is a better option – Mike Gibbons. Gentry Collins and Eric Woolson further show the excitement around Mike and his ability to lead Ohio to a greater prosperity.”
Gibbons, the son of a high school teacher and homemaker, is a successful businessman whose commitment to Ohio led to the founding of one of the nation’s most-respected middle-market investment banks that has provided the support for many Buckeye State companies to launch, grow and generate good jobs. He also co-founded an opioid treatment facility in 2015 and has been active in civic and volunteer activities in greater Cleveland.
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