Ken Welch for Mayor


Florida’s 4th largest city, St. Petersburg, was having the first open-seat Mayoral election in 12 years. Our candidate, Ken Welch, was campaigning to become the first African-American mayor of that city. 


Swing in vote share, from -8 points to +7 points.


Candidates defeated in the primary & general elections.


Win margin in the General Election.

The Challenge

Former County Commissioner Ken Welch was running to be the first African-American mayor of St. Petersburg. Despite his experience in local politics, Welch had only token opposition during his campaigns for County Commissioner, which meant a soft base of support for this highly competitive campaign. 

While Ken was well-regarded and well-known, he started the campaign in second place, trailing the front-runner by 7 points in a field of 8 candidates.


Though Welch was no novice to politics, this was the first significant campaign challenge he had faced in his 16 years as County Commissioner. 

In order to help elect Welch as mayor of Florida’s fourth largest city, we knew we had to connect him to the community and the voters. As a native of St. Petersburg, he had seen his community split and displaced by highway construction, and the city was struggling with a rash of gun violence.

Our strategy involved proactively telling Welch’s story as a product of St. Pete, demonstrating his efforts to stop violence and crime while fighting for inclusion. 

From a branding perspective, we needed to separate Welch from his opponents by defining him as a serious policymaker versus the other, more partisan candidates. This framework revolved around Ken “doing his homework” on the important issues of the day, a concept echoed in the creative direction of paid media and direct mail.

"As a family man and a person of faith, it was important that my campaign reflected my politics and my values. Travis and the Impact Campaigns team always made that a priority. They listened, collaborated, and helped me win by sharing my story with the community"


Executing an aggressive vote-by-mail and turnout operation, we were able to overcome a 7-point deficit to win the primary. The paid communication, targeted voter contact, and “doing the homework” messaging took Ken from a 31-38 underdog to winning the 8-candidate primary field with 39% of the vote. 

Ultimately, Ken Welch cruised to a 60% victory in the general election and became St. Petersburg’s mayor.

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Mike is an accomplished designer, video editor, and web developer. His strong background in programming, digital media, and search engine optimization brings our clients a wide range of online options for communicating their message and mission. 

He is an avid basketball fan, having coached youth basketball for several years, and brings his video editing skills to various sports media companies for demo and highlight reels. Mike is truly a “triple-threat” player on the Impact Campaigns team.

Mike lives in the Washington, DC area with his wife and two children. 


Drea is a seasoned project manager and executive assistant who offers more than 15 years of experience helping businesses and organizations focus more efficiently on day-to-day operations and mission-driven initiatives. She thrives on providing structure and processes to keep clients comfortable, happy and informed. 

A native Floridian, Drea was born in South Florida and currently calls Pensacola home. She enjoys spending time with her children, cracking up our team during conference calls, and arguing politics with her husband and anyone else.