Jeff Roe

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Jeff Roe
Personal details
Born 1972/1973 (age 44–45)[1]
Brookfield, Missouri, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater Northwest Missouri State
University
Website Official website

Jeff Roe (born 1972/73) is an American Republican political consultant and strategist.[2] He is the founder and principal of Axiom Strategies, a political consulting firm located in Kansas City, Missouri, with offices in Washington, D.C. and Dallas, Texas. He formerly served as Chief of Staff, campaign manager, and longtime aide for U.S. Representative Sam Graves.[3]

Known for his aggressive campaign techniques, Roe has earned a reputation as a "bare-knuckle" political operative who "plays to win."[4][5][6] Roe has been called "the next Karl Rove".[7] His political consulting firm, Axiom Strategies, has won numerous national awards en route to amassing an 81% win ratio.[8][9]

Roe has consulted for a variety of local, state, and federal political campaigns. Notable clients have included Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry and Ted Cruz. Roe was the senior strategist and campaign manager for Cruz's 2016 presidential bid.[10]

Background[edit]

Roe is a native of Brookfield, Missouri. He grew up on his family’s corn, soybean, and hog farm. Roe helped raise pigs and cattle on his family's farm. When asked how his upbringing prepared him for a career in politics, Roe said "hog farms are a lot cleaner.”[11] His family did not have strong political leanings, and his childhood dream was to become a Major League Baseball umpire.[12] Roe became an Eagle Scout before joining the Army National Guard at age 17.[3] He served in a 155 mm Howitzer Unit in South Korea, leaving the military in 1994.[11] He graduated from Northwest Missouri State University in 1994.[13] He wrote conservative pieces for his college's newspaper.[12] He currently lives with his wife and daughter in Kansas City, Missouri.[3] Roe is known for chewing Red Man Golden Blend chewing tobacco.[11]

Political career[edit]

Roe's political career began in 1994, working for then-Missouri State Representative Sam Graves. Following Graves’ election to the Missouri State Senate in 1994 and then the United States Congress in 2000, Roe became Graves’ Chief of Staff. In 2005, Roe left his position with Graves and founded Axiom Strategies, a Republican campaign consulting firm based in Kansas City, Missouri.[14] By 2008, Axiom Strategies had grown into a multimillion-dollar-a-year company.[12] In addition to Axiom Strategies, Roe founded creative agency and direct mail firm Candidate Command and polling and public opinion research company Remington Research Group.[15][16] Roe restructured his business model in August 2013 in order to handle an uptick in business. Axiom's internal direct mail capability was spun off into a standalone business called Candidate Command, and both the mail firm and Axiom grew by 40%.[16] Roe also owns Capitol Franking Group, which creates franked mail for members of Congress.[11]

After successfully managing several elections throughout the Midwest, including helping the Republican Party take over Missouri’s General Assembly for the first time in 50 years, Roe expanded Axiom Strategies’ operations to a national level in 2008, opening a second office in Washington, D.C. and working for Governor Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign in 2008, as well as managing the successful election efforts of several Missouri Congressmen.[17]

In 2008, Congressman Sam Graves’ brother Todd Graves was wrongfully dismissed from his position as a U.S. Attorney. It was discovered that Todd Graves’ firing was retaliation from Senator Kit Bond’s office over Sam Graves’ refusal to fire Roe.[18]

Roe and his consulting firm widened their national footprint in 2010, contributing to the election efforts of Congressmen Allen West (FL-22),[19] Rick Crawford (AR-1), Kevin Yoder (KS-3), Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-9), Sam Graves (MO-6), Billy Long (MO-7), Chuck Fleischmann (TN-3), Jo Ann Emerson (MO-8) and Senators Roy Blunt (MO), Jerry Moran (KS) and John Boozman (AR). Roe also counted a number of high-profile losing clients the same year, including Wink Harman, Jim Barnett, Bill Stouffer, and Van Tran.

In 2011, The Kansas City Star wrote that Roe had "evolved into a mainstream player," citing his work to pass a Kansas City sales tax increase to create a nicer home for wild animals at the Kansas City Zoo. Democratic campaign consultant Steve Glorioso said Roe's work on behalf of the zoo tax increase "raised Roe’s stature with the civic community" and that Roe's opponents "probably discovered his horns have smooth, not sharp, edges." His staff grew from eight people in 2008 to seventeen by 2011.[5]

In the 2012 election cycle, Axiom Strategies worked for Rick Perry's presidential campaign and for Richard Mourdock in his upset over Dick Lugar in the Indiana Senate primary.[19] Roe also played a role in Christi Craddick’s successful bid for Texas Railroad Commissioner and David Dewhurst’s unsuccessful United States Senate campaign. Following the 2012 election cycle, Axiom Strategies won 20 Pollie awards, winning twice as many as their nearest competitor. Axiom was recognized for winning the most Pollies of any Republican mail firm in the United States.[9]

Other clients included the National Association of Realtors, Congressman Richard Hudson (NC-8) and Congresswoman Ann Wagner (MO-2). For his role defeating Proposition B in Missouri, the closest ballot initiative in Missouri since 1992, Roe was named Missouri's “2012 General Consultant All Star.”[20] He was also named one of Missouri’s top 5 GOP “Influencers” by Campaigns & Elections Magazine.[3]

In 2013, Roe was chosen to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Gregg Keller, at the time the executive director of the American Conservative Union, said Roe was invited to speak at the event because he was "one of the most successful political consultants in the country." Roe said the speaking invitation validated a career path which he had launched by knocking on doors for political candidates.[14]

Roe was hired by Catherine Hanaway for her 2016 gubernatorial campaign in Missouri.[21][22][23] Roe's campaign tactics have been criticized by former U.S. Senator John Danforth.[24]

Roe regularly provides commentary for news outlets and publications such as The Kansas City Star, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Roll Call, The Hill, Fox News, Politico and radio stations such as KMBC and WPHT.[25][26][27]

2014 election cycle[edit]

In 2014, Roe hired Travis Smith, the former chief-of-staff for Congressman Kevin Yoder.[28] That same year, Roe was the lead consultant for Martha McSally’s successful bid for Congress, in which she defeated incumbent Ron Barber by 167 votes in the closest congressional election in Arizona history. McSally's victory was the closest congressional race in the nation for 2014.[29] Roe was also involved in Mark Walker and David Rouzer's elections to open congressional seats in North Carolina and Glenn Grothman’s election to the open congressional seat in Wisconsin. He also consulted for the re-election bids of Kevin Yoder, Ann Wagner, Sam Graves, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Billy Long, Chuck Fleischmann and Jason Smith.[2]

Roe was part of the team in Bruce Rauner’s successful campaign for Governor in Illinois, Greg Abbott’s successful campaign for Governor in Texas, and Scott Walker's successful Wisconsin gubernatorial bid.[30] In Texas State Senate races, Roe consulted for Bob Hall, who ousted 12-year incumbent Bob Deuell, and for Don Huffines, who unseated nearly 20-year incumbent John Carona.[31] Roe was involved in five of the top ten Republican takeover seats in the country.[32]

Ted Cruz 2016 presidential campaign[edit]

In 2014, Roe was hired by Ted Cruz as a political strategist.[19] According to Politico, Roe was brought on board to build out Cruz's political organization.[33] After Cruz announced his candidacy for president on March 23, 2015, it was reported that Roe was the campaign manager and senior strategist for Cruz.[34] In December 2015, U.S. News & World Report named Cruz's campaign "best of the 2016 campaign in 2015."[35]

Roe is well known for using sophisticated polling and campaign data to make strategic decisions, including targeting phone calls and other campaign messages to hit the ideas most likely to resonate with particular voters.[7] Political columnist Al Hunt said that if Cruz is successful, "Roe may become a rock star in politics, on a par with Lee Atwater, James Carville, and David Plouffe."[36] The New Republic called the Cruz campaign "a vintage Jeff Roe campaign: obsessively disciplined, well-funded, laser-focused on the base" and described Roe as "equal parts drill sergeant, data junkie, brawler, and entrepreneur."[11]

On January 24, 2016, Roe was featured on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace as "Power Player of the Week".[7] At the opening of his interview, Roe said “I think the rigors of democracy require us to have a real full-throated conversation about our beliefs, defend our beliefs, and point out the differences in our opponent’s beliefs.” [37]

Ted Cruz's victory in the 2016 Republican Iowa caucus put Roe into the spotlight.[38] Roe was credited as "the architect of Cruz's first-place finish."[39] MSNBC commentator Willie Geist called Roe "the David Axelrod of Cruz's campaign". Commenting on Roe's prediction that Cruz would win and Marco Rubio would come close to challenging Donald Trump, Geist said: "They knew to the decimal point what their model could handle and that was almost exactly what the results were.”[38]

National Review wrote that Roe was instrumental in the launch of Cruz’s presidential campaign that defined him as the evangelical choice in the 2016 presidential election cycle, branding Cruz as “a divinely inspired warrior fighting a two-front battle against cultural secularism and big government.”[40]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ted Cruz’s Howitzer
  2. ^ a b Mannies, Jo; McDaniel, Chris; Rosenbaum, Jason (June 17, 2014). "Politically Speaking: Jeff Roe Recounts Best Ways To Sell Campaign, Predicts GOP Success This Fall". St. Louis Public Radio. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Our Principal". Axiom Strategies. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  4. ^ Drebes, Dave (February 3, 2008). "Will Missouri's primary splinter GOP's board of directors?". St. Louis Business Journal. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Kraske, Steve (November 29, 2011). "Jeff Roe evolves into a mainstream player". Kansas City Star. Archived from the original on December 2, 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "GOP hopefuls off and running in Missouri's '08 AG race". Legal Newsline Legal Journal. February 13, 2007. Archived from the original on October 23, 2007. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c Canon, Scott (January 24, 2016). "KC's Jeff Roe featured as 'ruthless' but teary Cruz campaign chief on Fox". Kansas City Star. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  8. ^ Zimpfer, Travis (February 2, 2016). "Jeff Roe leads Cruz campaign to Iowa caucus victory". Missouri Times. Retrieved 4 March 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Faughn, Scott (April 27, 2013). "Axiom Strategies direct mail earns 20 Pollie Awards". Missouri Times. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  10. ^ Zezima, Katie (March 23, 2015). "Meet the people who will help Ted Cruz try to get to the White House". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c d e Kroll, Andy (January 20, 2016). "Ted Cruz's Howitzer". The New Republic. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  12. ^ a b c Vockrodt, Steve (April 13, 2008). "Political consultant Roe cultivates conservative campaigns". Kansas City Business Journal. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  13. ^ "Northwest Alumni Magazine" (PDF). Northwest Alumni Magazine. Spring 2007. Retrieved 4 March 2016. 
  14. ^ a b Faughn, Scott (March 4, 2013). "Jeff Roe chosen to speak at CPAC". The Missouri Times. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  15. ^ Helling, Dave (July 28, 2014). "Streetcar leads in poll, but campaign too close to call". Kansas City Star. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  16. ^ a b Ruess, Brittany (August 14, 2013). "Axiom Strategies establishes new direct voter contact firm". Missouri Times. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  17. ^ Drucker, David (August 28, 2014). "Ted Cruz builds team for 2016". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  18. ^ Kravitz, Derek (October 3, 2008). "How a Missouri Feud Ousted a U.S. Attorney". Washington Post. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  19. ^ a b c Kapur, Sahil (November 20, 2014). "Ted Cruz's Brain Trust: The Advisers Who Want To Make Him President". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  20. ^ "MoScout Readers 2012 All-Star Political Consultants". Missouri Scout. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  21. ^ Yokley, Eli (February 2, 2014). "While Schweich focuses on reelection, Hanaway gubernatorial campaign taking shape". PoliticoMO. Retrieved 27 April 2015. 
  22. ^ Kraske, Steve (April 15, 2015). "Jeff Roe speaks out on anti-Tom Schweich radio ad, says he paid for it with his own money". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 27 April 2015. 
  23. ^ Young, Virginia (March 15, 2015). "Citizens for Fairness was front group for Hanaway's consultant". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 27 April 2015. 
  24. ^ Young, Virginia; McDermott, Kevin (March 4, 2015). "Danforth, in eulogy, decries 'whispering campaign' against Schweich". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 27 April 2015. 
  25. ^ Murray, Shailagh (July 4, 2010). "America's heartland sees little need for a political insurrection". Washington Post. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  26. ^ Miller, Tricia (January 27, 2011). "Graves Rises to Top of Potential GOP Challengers to McCaskill, Poll Shows". Roll Call. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  27. ^ Catanese, David (June 24, 2011). "The new GOP litmus test". Politico. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  28. ^ "Roe expanding consultancy hegemon". Kansas City Star. February 26, 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  29. ^ Rojas, Rick (December 17, 2014). "Martha McSally, Republican Challenger, Wins in Arizona Midterm Race". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  30. ^ Roe, Jeff (November 11, 2014). "2014 Election In The Books". Axiom Strategies. Archived from the original on 5 February 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  31. ^ Repko, Melissa (May 27, 2014). "Update: State legislative candidate Morgan Meyer wins runoff; Chart Westcott concedes in Facebook post". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  32. ^ Faughn, Scott (February 21, 2014). "Five questions with: Jeff Roe". The Missouri Times. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  33. ^ Everett, Burgess; Bresnahan, John (August 28, 2014). "Ted Cruz feeds 2016 buzz with hires". Politico. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  34. ^ Hohmann, James; Isenstadt, Alex (March 23, 2015). "Cruz's strategy: Destroy the 'mushy middle'". Politico. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  35. ^ Catanese, David (December 31, 2015). "The Best and Worst of 2016 in 2015". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  36. ^ Helling, Dave (January 29, 2016). "Jeff Roe a potential 'rock star,' veteran reporter says". Kansas City Star. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  37. ^ Wallace, Chris (January 24, 2016). "The man behind the secret to Ted Cruz's ground game". Fox News. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  38. ^ a b McDermott, Kevin (February 3, 2016). "'Ruthless' Jeff Roe, veteran of rough Missouri politics, in spotlight after Cruz win". St. Louis Post Dispatch. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  39. ^ Fense, Sarah (February 2, 2016). "Missouri's Own Jeff Roe Was the Wind Beneath Ted Cruz's Iowa Wings". Riverfront Times. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  40. ^ Alberta, Tim; Johnson, Eliana (February 2, 2016). "Ted Cruz's Long Road to Iowa Victory". National Review. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 

External links[edit]