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Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The 2018 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Democratic State House Campaign Staffer goes to Tiffany Moy and it wasn’t even close

She was responsible for nearly all of the top tier races. Tiffany is a no-nonsense powerhouse who will tell it like it is and do what is necessary to get the job done. She works more than she should, but does it all for the House Democrats. Tiffany is the campaign staffer others should be measured against and aspire to be.


Tiffany Moy for the already mentioned reasons, but also for her many efforts that can go unnoticed in the off-season. She’s one of the few who puts in the work for candidates and campaigns all year round. From recruitment, to petitions, to candidate management and everything in between - she does it all. It’s not glamorous stuff, but it’s that kind of work that helps campaigns build a strong foundation and she does it all without complaint.

She was also endorsed by “Soccermom”


Good enough for me.

* The 2018 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Republican State House Campaign Staffer goes to Ryan Tozer

Not only did he do an awesome job in Norine Hammond’s general, but he also did a great job on the primary too.

No way that his ground game was going to be outmatched in either race. Lots of Republicans that fended the right flank in March went down in November. Not Hammond, and that’s because of Ryan.

This is what put him over the top

It’s been six plus years since I’ve lived in the state or had anything to do with politics but I still got hit up by Ryan Tozer to knock doors for Norine Hammond. Dude, how about “how are the kids?”

* Honorable mention goes to Deb Kraulidis, who was nominated by Rep. Mark Batinick…

Based on performance my Staffer, Deb Kraulidis, should win the GOP staffer award. Only one to win a competitive race in a district Rauner AND Harold lost. Outperformed Rauner by 3.75% while most targets in the suburbs were 3%-7% behind him. Withstood the massive late spend. She managed/developed a large team of volunteers. And she did on the smallest budget of any incumbent target. She’s unknown in Springfield and is unlikely to be nominated but she should be!

* OK, on to our next categories…

* Best Government Spokesperson

* Best Campaign Spokesperson

Don’t forget to explain your votes or they won’t count. And please do your best to nominate in both categories. Thanks!


  1. - Just Because You Can - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 1:54 pm:

    * Best Government Spokesperson: Henry Haupt with Secretary White’s office. “My mouthpiece of the South,” is how Secretary White always describes Henry and that couldn’t be more true. Wonderful gentleman and true professional.

    * Best Campaign Spokesperson: Galia Slayen. This is easy. Galia went after every reporter in the state and was relentless in her pursuit to ensure her guy had the best coverage possible. She’s a fighter- Beto will need someone like her in 2020.

  2. - Rahm's Middle Finger - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 2:16 pm:

    Best government spokesperson: John Patterson. Great work ethic and always thoughtful in his responses.

    Best campaign spokesperson: This is a no brainer. Rebecca Evans was a rock star for Chris Kennedy. Those paying attention saw Chris transform as a candidate and communicator over the course of the campaign. That’s thanks to Rebecca. I can only imagine how much work and patience that took.

    Rebecca also took the most effective (and increasingly unique) approach to her job. She actually built relationships with reporters, rather than yelling at them. All that while being incredibly out manned by the Pritzker comms shop. She is a tremendous talent.

  3. - Mr. Right - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 2:16 pm:

    Best Government Spokesperson- Steve Brown. Helped stabilize the course during tough year of scandals for Madigan’s inner circle and always is on point.

    Best Campaign Spokesperson: Aaron DeGroot. Simply the best Republicans have to offer with his energy, grit, and all out twitter presence.

  4. - coffee - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 2:16 pm:

    Gov’t: Gotta be Abdon with Mendoza. Everyone who has met Mendoza knows the amount of energy she has, and Abdon has matched her step for step (or as close as any one person can get). He’s well liked and respected in a lot of different circles around Chi politics, which is a good sign to me.

    I don’t follow the campaign side of stuff all that much so I don’t feel comfy nominating there, sorry Rich. Hate to be that commenter.

  5. - Dan Johnson - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 2:17 pm:

    It is genuinely nice that Rep Batinick went to bat for his operative on here to give her some credit.

  6. - Your NFC North Champion Chicago Bears - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 2:21 pm:

    Best Government Spokesperson: Steve Brown. The Speaker’s operation always knows what to put out there and what to keep to themselves. There’s a reason these guys have been around so long.

    Best Campaign Spokesperson: Rebecca Evans, who worked for the Kennedy primary campaign. I saw some early clips of Kennedy speaking, and he needed some serious polish. By the end, he was really getting there, thanks to Rebecca. She was a real bright spot for that campaign.

  7. - RoonilWazlib - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 2:23 pm:

    Best campaign spokesperson: Jordan Abudayyeh withthe Pritzker campaign.

    She kept her cool under enormous pressure, has a great Twitter presence, and from what I can gather, was the real brains behind the Pritzker comms team. Can’t wait to see what she does next.

  8. - Jordan - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 2:27 pm:

    Apologies Rich for not knowing on the gov’t side, but on the political side I will post a) winner b) honorable mentions

    For the winner I have MATT BUTCHER. His style and approach to the very competitive 13 district was met with class and a unique detail to transparent coverage. Very well done Matt

    1) Galia- yeah she had the money and manpower but did not take it for granted. Not to mention she never was shy to talk to voters in the Chik Fil A line.
    2) Will Allison- I mean come on, he had no money and a weak candidate but his J.B. Bahamas & toilet stuff was pure GENIUS. Hats off to Will, Anthony, Betsy, Lorena, and Nick for their assistance


  9. - ReformedBlonde - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 2:29 pm:

    Best government spokesperson: Henry Haupt with Secretary White’s office. He is devoted to ensuring that questions/concerns/details are not only provided, but done so quickly and efficiently. He is kind and thoughtful to anyone he encounters and ensures that the office is always represented well.

    Campaign spokesperson: I vote for Radical Candor, because of the hilarity that ensued following each of their tweets. But in sincerity, I commend the entirety of the Pritzker campaign’s communications team. Clearly their strategy couldn’t have been achieved so well if there hadn’t been so many focused leaders at the helm. Their efforts were rewarded.

  10. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 2:29 pm:

    ===I vote for Radical Candor===

    We’re going to have a new category this year covering Twitter accounts, so save that until then.

  11. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 2:33 pm:

    Best Government Spokesperson: Patty Schuh. Grace under fire, decades of experience, volunteered for an impossible job with an impossible boss, excellent human being. It’s gonna take some truly great nominations for another gvt spox to convince me that Patty shouldn’t get this award in what will likely be her final full year of eligibility.

    Best Campaign Spokesperson: Galia Slayen. Perhaps the most persistent person I have ever met in my entire life. She wounded a few egos along the way, but many of those folks were probably asking for it, myself included. She protected her candidate with the ferocity of a tiger guarding her young. She even reached out to one of my regular commenters at one point. When have you ever heard of a campaign flak being so thorough that she’d try to work a blog commenter?

    I’ve never had to deal with a campaign spokesperson for an 18-month period. It’s just unheard of. Many, many days during those long months we talked 4, 5, 6 times. And not just during “normal” business hours. We talked on the weekends. We talked at night. I had to finally forbid her from calling me in the early morning because I was so busy with work. She’d call at the appointed hour with her standard greeting: “Good morning, sunshine!”

    She’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever known. She put her entire self into that campaign and she did a heckuva job. And when it was all over, she gracefully tipped her cap to the other side

    She’s soon off to bigger and better things. Go get ‘em, G.

  12. - 471gal - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 2:38 pm:

    Campaign spokesperson: Anyone not affiliated with Rauner. Because geez…

    Government spokesperson: Not to be redundant, but my experience with Henry Haupt at SOS is always a pleasure. His response time is second to none, and I believe he is a reason that SOS has such a good reputation with reporters/media. Other than that, he has a very snappy collection of suits.

  13. - Be kind - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 2:40 pm:

    Jordan Abudayyeh has already proven that she’s extremely talented, but her best days are still ahead of her. She’s spent the better part of two years on the road, hustling to drum up good stories and prevent unfavorable coverage. She’s always treated people well from what I’ve heard and has earned an admirable reputation. Since she’s still traveling with the gov elect, I bet she stays with him and has a big impact on the gov’s agenda. Jordan didn’t only care about the campaign, she cared about fixing our state. Kudos on a job well done, and wishing you well for whatever comes next.

  14. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 2:51 pm:

    Best Campaign Spokesperson

    To be a campaign spokesperson, I’ve always felt there are two things you have to be incredibly good at, one is keeping the messaging where you can control all you can, and to be fiercely loyal to the candidate, without ever compromising yourself or the honesty to things.

    Galia Slayen, who I nominated with others last year, continued to be one of the best and fiercest spokespeople, and doing so with unmatched loyalty and honesty to what she was doing.

    Slayen is one of those rare people that takes the fight to the crux of the issue and is willing to make her points, and watching her work, Slayen is arguably one of the best at laying out a string messsge and tie it all together, leaving little room to parse. A skill that some spokespeople forget trying to win the day.

    Slayen is one of my favorites. Like Patterson, like Abdon, Slayen has that special unique nitche to her own work that elevates her in that area that it’s easy for me to put her with Patterson and Abdon, and it’s not remotely an accident I nominate her again.

    I nominate Galia Slayen for Best Campaign Spokesperson Golden Horseshoe.

  15. - WOB - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 3:07 pm:

    For best government spox: I nominate Eleni D from House Republicans. She dealt with a ton of challenging issues this year, including Jerry Long, Sterigenics, etc and always kept a balanced approach that put her boss in the best possible light. And she was never shy to tell a reporter their story needed to be “updated”.

    Best campaign spox: def Galia. They owned the space and drove the messaging each day. But to be fair, they did benefit from multiple gaffes from Rauner and his team’s constant desire to put him in the Quincy media market for avails.

  16. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 3:07 pm:

    Best Government Spokesperson

    I’m going to cut this to the quick.

    There was not a more thankless job in Illinois government than to be the spokesperson for the governor.

    While others with less professionalism, skill, and dedication could’ve taken the role, after the turmoil in that office, anything that gave a semblance of routine would be welcomed.

    It can’t be understated, on the governing side, the importance of having Patty Schuh, not someone like her, close to being her, similar, no… her, take that role after another change and brought more of a professional presence, instead of scrambling to win days and move on tomorrow. In many ways Schuh can’t be thanked enough to her skill at calming the waters when so many before her were too willing to stir the pot.

    I nominate Patty Schuh for Best Government Spokesperson due in very large part to her skill and professionalism when that role needed it most.

  17. - ana - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 3:10 pm:

    I vote Patty Schuh for government spokesperson. She always keeps her cool and speaks the truth.

  18. - Soccermom - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 3:16 pm:

    Abdon Pallasch has done incredible work for Susana Mendoza. She would not be where she is without him (and I know that Abdon will be mad at this because he says it’s all Susana. Which is why he’s great at his job.)

  19. - Kennedy's Krew - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 3:16 pm:

    Best Campaign Spokesperson: I second Rebecca Evans. She is a boss. Kept her candidate in the news. She also turned a chaotic message from the candidate into a coherent call for change (too bad there was no real money behind it).

    Government Spokesperson: Paris Ervin, Treasurer’s Office. A pleasure to work with. And understands the press. Has her candidate constantly working downstate press, who actually care about the Treasurer.

  20. - MB - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 3:22 pm:

    Campaign Spokesperson: Aaron DeGroot. A lot of talk has been around the future of the ILGOP and Republicans utilizing a talent like DeGroot should be part of that. Regardless of candidate, he does a great job dealing with press and staying on message - all in an extremely timely and professional matter.

    Best Government Spokesperson: Patti Schuh. Notice how the craziness inside the glass windows died down significantly once she came around?

  21. - Dave Druker - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 3:32 pm:

    I am honored to work with Henry Haupt and see everyday the outstanding job he does. In an excellent field of government spokespersons, Henry is my nominee for the Golden Horseshoe.

    Galia Slayen is my nominee for best campaign spokesperson. Poised and articulate under very stressful circumstances.

  22. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 3:44 pm:

    Govt spox… let’s see Brown has been retired as a winner and Patty was kept in dark about Quincy so Patterson should win
    Campaign Spox must go to Galia and Jordan. They buried all others with rapid response and a truly statewide effort

  23. - Toucan - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 3:59 pm:

    Campaign spokesperson: Galia Slayen. She frequently made more sense than her bosses. While persistent, she let you fight back when she knew you had a point. There’s a crazy line between protecting a campaign and the truth, and I don’t think she ever crossed the line into lying, which is super important to media in this day and age. Looking forward to seeing where she lands.

    Best Government Spokesperson: Eleni Demertzis/Durkin’s office. She is strong, persistent, knowledgeable and accurate. I would want her on my side if I were a politician.

  24. - One who would know... - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 4:40 pm:

    There is no doubt who owns this category - Galia. Having worked with the media in both campaigns and government, I can honestly say navigating the Chicago press corps is quite possibly one of the hardest jobs for both. What reporters and many outsiders forget is that the press secretary is not there to be their “secretary” but rather to be the spokesperson and voiciferous defender of their boss. Galia did that and then some. She is a smart, tactical operative who is 100% loyal to her candidate…and when running for office in a state like Illinois that’s exactly what one needs in from the head of their comms shop.

  25. - BC - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 7:53 pm:

    Great nominations here for gov spox. Abdon, Patterson, Eleni are all top shelf, but Patty Schuh gets the nod. You just don’t get the combination of mistake-free media savvy, historical perspective, and institutional knowledge from any one person like you get from Patty. Not to mention, she’s a real decent person and gets bonus points for being a Mother McAuley grad.

    Unlike the gov flacks mentioned above, I’ve never worked with Aaron DeGroot, but I’ll second his nomination because almost every time I read one of his quotes I thought: “that’s pretty well played.”

  26. - K4IL - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 8:38 pm:

    For best campaign spokesperson, Rebecca Evans. On the Kennedy campaign, she didn’t have the benefit of financial resources–or even a press assistant–and transformed the candidate, honed his message, and built positive relationships with the press across the state. Bravo!

    Sorry Rich, I don’t know the government side very well.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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