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MEDIA

MEDIA 2022

MIRS' 2022 Primary Results Webinar.

MIRS

August 4, 2022

"Democrats will try to make the election about abortion as a way of energizing their base, but they may not succeed."

Dixon, Whitmer working out of different playbooks as gubernatorial race gets underway.

Detroit Free Press

August 4, 2022

"Democrats will try to make the election about abortion as a way of energizing their base, but they may not succeed."

“It’s going to be a rough ride,” Dixon-Whitmer Showdown Set for Governor’s Office.

9 & 10 News

August 3, 2022

“Governor Whitmer wants to be seen as her own candidate, and so does Tudor Dixon,” said Sellek, “I think we’ll see them try to do that and use Biden or Trump where it makes sense, and where it’s necessary.”

Tudor Dixon won over a divided Michigan GOP, but ousting Whitmer will be harder.

The Detroit News

August 3, 2022

Dixon was always the wild card in the GOP primary field, said John Sellek

How Meijer's Trump impeachment vote sealed his fate in west Michigan.

The Detroit News

August 3, 2022

"The Democrats are the ones that made the difference there," said John Sellek, CEO of Harbor Strategic Public Affairs and a longtime GOP public relations advisor. "Gibbs wasn't able to run a full-scale Congressional-level campaign because of the lack of funding that he had."

In Michigan Governor Race, Legal Missteps Hurt GOP Bid to Unseat Gretchen Whitmer.

The Wall Street Journal

July 29, 2022

“Some of these endorsements are for fundraising but are seen as toxic among the MAGA base,” said Sellek. “Because of the endorsements and the outside financing, right now, she would be primed to win the primary. But I think it’ll be very close.”

Judge delays Michigan minimum wage increase until at least February

Bridge Michigan

July 29, 2022

If Shapiro’s original ruling stands, it would invalidate the Raise the Wage proposal, which seeks to amend a law that would be repealed, Sellek argued.

Former president Donald Trump endorses Tudor Dixon for governor.

MLive

July 29, 2022

"But with so little time before the Aug. 2 primary, it might make the long-awaited endorsement less than the seismic shift in the race it could’ve otherwise been."

Endorsement watch: Trump drops hint in Michigan GOP governor’s race

The Detroit News

July 29, 2022

In a race where no candidate has been able to take a lead that outmatches the percentage of undecided voters in most polls, Trump's endorsement would represent "a seismic change to the race and ultimately is likely to decide the winner," said John Sellek

John Sellek ~ MBS with Michael Patrick Shiels

Michigan's Big Show

July 28, 2022

Harbor's John Sellek joins Michael Patrick Shiels on Michigan's Big Show to break down the last GOP Gubernatorial Debate and the race to the August Primary.

Michigan group turns in 610,000 signatures for $15 minimum wage ballot initiative.

Crain's Detroit Business

July 27, 2022

"You can't seek to alter laws that no longer exist, even in today's insane political environment," Sellek said.

Issues & Ale: Michigan’s Primary Election Preview

Michigan Radio

July 26, 2022

Harbor's John Sellek joins NPR's Zoe Clark & Rick Pluta to preview the primary election.

$15 minimum wage initiative submits 610k signatures for 2024 ballot

MLive

July 26, 2022

Sellek argues, however, the 2024 initiative would be moot if the adopt-and-amend overturning sticks, because, “You can’t seek to alter laws that no longer exist.”

John Sellek ~ All Talk with Tom & Kevin

WJR Detroit

July 26, 2022

John Sellek talks with Kevin and Tom about the House staffers that were arrested for protesting for climate change outside of Chuck Schumer's office.

Did Trump’s endorsement help Michigan House, Senate candidates? It’s to be determined.

MLive

July 25, 2022

“In a lot of races, we’ll have to hold our breath until election night to see if fundraising can protect a candidate against nothing else but a Trump endorsement,” Sellek said. “I would not be surprised to see an upset on election night because a Trump endorsement.”

Michigan GOP legislative races test incumbents, and Trump’s influence.

Bridge Michigan

July 22, 2022

In several races where there’s a competitive Republican primary, incumbents have done little to question their conservative bonafides, but are still spending a lot of money to defend their records, said John Sellek

Rinke Tops GOP Field in Money, But Whitmer Haul is Massive.

Gongwer

July 22, 2022

“The GOP faces a serious and perhaps deadly period in August as Whitmer can spend a half-million per week, while it's assured the DGA and related entities will firebomb the airwaves with negatives on the unknown GOP nominee as they struggle to raise funds,” said Sellek.

What did we learn in last night’s debate?

WILS - Lansing

July 21, 2022

“Judging by the non-stop attacks leveled at Tudor Dixon, it’s safe to say she has moved to the front of the field for now,” Sellek said.

New Poll Lays Out Gubernatorial Race With Two Weeks To Go

9 & 10 News

July 19, 2022

“The other campaigns know that a Trump endorsement comes, they could essentially be dead in the water,” said Sellek. “They are doing everything they can to sow seeds of doubt. Not only in the voters’ mind but, frankly, I think that ad from Rinke is meant for an audience of one, Donald Trump.”

Tudor Dixon holds slim lead, GOP race for Michigan governor 'complete toss-up,' poll shows

The Detroit News

July 18, 2022

"As the race closes, it's starting to follow the traditional pattern as whoever has the most money starts to move into the lead,"

John Sellek ~ All Talk with Tom & Kevin

WJR 760 AM - Detroit

July 14, 2022

John Sellek talks with Kevin and Tom about democrats distancing themselves from President Biden.

Whitmer launches first ad of campaign season, three weeks before GOP Primary

WWMT-TV

July 12, 2022

Ryan Kelley: Firebrand activist ‘100% unapologetic’ in Michigan governor bid

Bridge Michigan

July 11, 2022

Kelley has polled at or near the top of several recent surveys of the GOP primary field. His arrest appears to have helped him with Republican voters who believe "that government isn't just incompetent, it's corrupt,"

Kevin Rinke channels Trump’s business outsider label in MI governor’s race

Bridge Michigan

July 8, 2022

John Sellek ~ Paul W. Smith Show

WJR AM - Detroit

July 7, 2022

Kevin Rinke weighed leaving Michigan. Now he’s running for governor

The Detroit News

June 30, 2022

The candidate is "playing the long game," hoping to be an electable nominee who can talk about issues that matter to Trump supporters at the base of the GOP, said John Sellek, who has previously worked for Michigan Republicans and is CEO of the consulting firm Harbor Strategic Public Affairs.

John Sellek ~ All Talk With Jordan and Dietz

WJR AM - Detroit

June 15, 2022

Power of Trump’s Endorsements Dims in Governor Races

Wall Street Journal

May 25, 2022

It has been notable that Trump has yet to endorse a gubernatorial candidate yet, said Sellek.

Craig Mauger & John Sellek ~ The Guy Gordon Show

WJR Detroit

May 24, 2022

Detroit News state government reporter Craig Mauger and Harbor Strategic CEO John Sellek talk with Guy Gordon about the Bureau of Elections finding that James Craig and Perry Johnson didn't submit enough valid signatures to appear on the ballot for Republican nomination for governor.

GOP Gov Race Takes On New Look

Gongwer - Lansing

May 24, 2022

Sellek of Harbor Strategic Public Affairs said the removal of half of the candidates helped the Michigan Republican Party "hit the reset button on their primary." In that sense, he added, it was a "spectacular day" for Ms. Dixon.

Who finally knocked the GOP’s leading candidate out of first place?

FOX 2 Detroit

May 23, 2022

In the end, Craig beat himself. 

James Craig, Perry Johnson, 3 others ineligible for ballot, Bureau of Elections says

Detroit News

May 23, 2022

“The bureau's findings represented a "reset" for the Michigan GOP primary race for governor and would benefit other candidates in the race, said John Sellek, a political consultant and the leader of Harbor Strategic Public Affairs.”

John Sellek ~ The Guy Gordon Show

WJR Detroit

May 23, 2022

John Sellek, Founder and CEO of Harbor Strategic Public Affairs, talks with Guy Gordon about the DeVos family's endorsement of Tudor Dixon, and what's next for the GOP.

John Sellek ~ All Talk with Jordan and Dietz

WJR Detroit

May 23, 2022

"John Sellek talks with Kevin and Tom about the the number of republicans that would like the president impeached after the midterms. 

State elections report: James Craig and Perry Johnson filed too few signatures for ballot

Detroit Free Press

May 23, 2022

"The collapse of the James Craig campaign ... likely is the greatest in Michigan history," said John Sellek.

Mallory McMorrow's fiery speech brought in donations, but she wants real change

Detroit Free Press

May 23, 2022

"If you were following this polarizing issue, you probably already have a hero and villain assigned in this mess. Otherwise, especially for statewide suburban voters who swung from Trump to (President Joe) Biden but are again searching for stability and the best for their kids, it was another nasty political spat that keeps them off social media or from talking amongst friends for fear of a confrontation," Sellek said.

What do voters want? Fix inflation or impeachment?

All Talk - WJR AM Detroit

May 23, 2022

Kevin, Tom and John address the new UMass poll showing a majority of GOP voters would support a Biden impeachment but are more concerned about the economy. 

A Discussion on Michigan’s Public Policy Environment

A Key to the Inside Podcast

May 20, 2022

Inflation, Inflation, Inflation: The deciding factor in 2022 is the economy.

The Mother of All Election Cycles

What's with the Pineapple? Podcast

May 6, 2022

The Mother of All Election Cycles: In this Mother’s Day preview edition, we welcome Lansing insiders for an in-depth 2022 election preview & an equally important discussion on Detroit Pistons.

Massive forgery scheme’ claims rock Michigan elections, governor’s race

Bridge Michigan

May 6, 2022

“Should all three be disqualified, national donors “will see Michigan's GOP primary as a complete and total disaster, sending their dollars to other states until, and if, a strong Republican candidate emerges from the ashes later in the year,” said Sellek”

Challenging convention, James Craig eyes new path to governor's office

The Detroit News

May 3, 2022

“There is a sense the emperor has no clothes b/c I don't think we've ever seen someone be front-runner for a year yet struggle to run a campaign.’ If Craig doesn't win, it would mark ‘an epic collapse,” said Sellek.”

Can the Empire Strike Back in the GOP?

All Talk - WJR AM Detroit

April 29, 2022

John, Kevin and Tom talk about GOP donors’ effort to protect GOP majorities in the state legislature.

Opinion: GOP upheaval is about Maddocks, not Trump

Detroit Free Press

April 29, 2022

"The institution they are conducting care and feeding for is Trump," Sellek said. "Trump has laid out the terms on which supporters are judged, and they have been successful at building a relationship with him. They understood the assignment."

Meet the Republican candidate for governor who isn’t pro-Trump

MLIVE - Statewide

April 27, 2022

"Every one of the candidates and their campaigns have to assume that this will be a battle for a plurality, and perhaps one as low as the 30s (% range) or high 20s, ” said John Sellek, CEO of Harbor Strategic Public Affairs, a Republican public relations firm.

Michigan GOP's endorsed candidates could face an uphill battle, experts say

Detroit Free Press

April 26, 2022

"Sellek said that the GOP gathering marked "the official date that the Trump lane of the party became the establishment. So every step going forward between now and Election Day — losses or wins — is on them. They are the establishment."

Michigan governor candidates ‘can’t read Trump’s mind,’ but many think he will endorse them

MLIVE - Statewide

April 26, 2022

"They’re not judging themselves based on, ‘Do I have 30%? Do I have $1.5 million cash on hand?’” Sellek said. “They’re like, ‘I’m in the game and this is fun. And I get to wield some influence and I might actually have a base of support to do something fun with after this is over.’

Is a Red Wave in November a Sure Thing?

MIRS - Capitol

April 25, 2022

"When Whitmer’s pollster tells Politico 2022 is the worst Democratic environment he has seen in 30 years you get a sense of the fear currently gripping Democratic consultants and electeds.”

MIRS Monday Podcast

MIRS - Capitol

April 25, 2022

"SOS and AG are typically low-info flow races for voters, at least until September, so despite the Twitter bubble that you, Elon MUSK and I live in, the general public doesn’t know anything about DePerno or Karamo, and not much more about Nessel and Benson.”

Michigan AG Race to be Decided Saturday

Gongwer - Capitol

April 22, 2022

"The last minute Trump teletownhall and visits by MAGA surrogates indicate the possibility of a close race and one that will be fought until the voting is complete.”

Michigan GOP convention to test Trump's influence among some of the party's most active members

CBS News - National

April 22, 2022

"It's a huge milestone for the Michigan GOP, but it's most definitely a milestone for Trump because he made it a test of his influence," said Sellek.” 

Big GOP field could mean limited money, no immediate Trump bump’

Gongwer - Capitol

April 20, 2022

"John Sellek of Harbor Strategic said that the missteps of President Joe Biden and Ms. Whitmer's own shortcomings have "created a discount," so to speak, in terms of how much the GOP candidates are going to need." 

Donald Trump looms large as Michigan GOP braces for convention ‘battle’

Bridge Michigan

April 20, 2022

"Michigan GOP officials probably did not anticipate “the sheer amount of infighting” in the party, and the convention could allow them to stop the "bloodletting” before fall elections, Sellek said. 

Why Michigan voters don’t get to choose who will face Nessel, Benson

MLIVE - Statewide

April 20, 2022

"Republicans can negate any picks from the April convention if 75% of delegates vote to overturn. It’s essentially a “smash-glass-in-case-of-emergency” lever, Sellek said.”

Crowded GOP Gubernatorial Primary Field is Set

9 & 10 News - Traverse City

April 19, 2022

"(Craig’s) challenge has been to take that lead and build on top of it and that’s something he has not done so far and he’s had a pretty open window over almost a year to do it,” said Sellek.”

Ten Michigan GOP governor candidates file signatures to make ballot

Bridge Michigan

April 19, 2022

"Anybody and everybody wants to run for governor, and the fact that they can collect the signatures and get themselves on the ballot tells you just how much energy is floating around out there on the GOP side," Sellek said.”

Crowded primary races mark Michigan's 2022 ballot after filing deadline

The Detroit News

April 19, 2022

"The energy is a dual-edged sword," said John Sellek, a longtime Michigan Republican political operative and CEO of the firm Harbor Strategic Public Affairs.

Should Michigan’s AG and SOS nominees be selected by voters?

WJR AM - Detroit

April 18, 2022

"Sellek, founder and CEO of Harbor Strategic Public Affairs, talks with Guy Gordon about the possibility of reforming the convention process in favor of primary elections.”

'Historic' number of gubernatorial candidates could be on GOP primary ballot

FOX 17 - Grand Rapids

April 18, 2022

“It's a huge milestone internally for every one of these campaigns and they all want to sit back and pop some champagne from it and say, man, we got that done. And the thing is, no one cares,” laughed Sellek.

Jacques: Ditch crazy conventions for primaries

The Detroit News

April 17, 2022

“You couldn’t devise a more insider, exclusive system than this one.”

Parents make emotional plea to Oxford school officials to address security

The Detroit News

April 14, 2022

“Parents of Oxford High School students and one survivor of the Nov. 30 mass shooting made emotional pleas on Thursday for improved safety measures inside the school.”

Group of Oxford High students and parents want review of school safety plan

FOX 2 Detroit

April 14, 2022

“Attorney General Dana Nessel is expected to meet with Oxford parents and students next week.” 

Trump endorsement shakes up Michigan Secretary of State race

Detroit Free Press

April 7, 2022

Sellek, CEO of Harbor Strategic, a Lansing-based public relations firm, said that "it's very reasonable to think that Kristina Karamo has this thing locked up." GOP delegates who will decide the convention outcome are "becoming more and more and more Trump or nothing," he said.”

Fred Upton retires. Another Trump critic finds no home in today’s GOP

Bridge Michigan

April 5, 2022

Sellek, a former staffer for former Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette, told Bridge Michigan that while Trump’s attacks on Upton may have played a role in his retirement, it wasn’t the deciding factor.”

Donald Trump returns to Michigan to back his candidates, prepare for ‘24

Bridge Michigan

April 3, 2022

DePerno appears to be locked in an "incredibly close” convention race with former House Speaker Tom Leonard and, if he loses, "the national media will pick up on that quickly as a sign that (Trump's) influence is waning," Sellek told Bridge.”

AgriPAC Fundraiser 2022 Elections Discussion

Lansing, Michigan

February 22, 2022

What does it take to make sure Michigan farmers are well represented in politics? A panel of election experts — Kyle Melinn, co-owner of MIRS News; John Sellek of Harbor Strategic Public Affairs; and Adrian Hemond, CEO of Grassroots Midwest — will offer commentary on all thing’s election 2022.

AgriPAC Fundraiser 2022 Elections Discussion

Lansing, Michigan

February 22, 2022

What does it take to make sure Michigan farmers are well represented in politics? A panel of election experts — Kyle Melinn, co-owner of MIRS News; John Sellek of Harbor Strategic Public Affairs; and Adrian Hemond, CEO of Grassroots Midwest — will offer commentary on all thing’s election 2022.

My Take: Don’t eliminate the Register of Deeds.

Sault Evening News

February 16, 2022

“Why would we “fix” a part of government that is already working for us? While some claim it will save a few bucks, that is unlikely and will result in negative side effects that you should know about."

Community members denounce UMich Board of Regents’ handling of sexual misconduct

Michigan Daily

February 18, 2022

“Brourman said Coleman and the University were aware of former Provost Martin Philbert’s previous sexual misconduct allegations when he was made dean of the School of Public Health."

Is 2022 another ‘year of the outsider?’ Michigan GOP gubernatorial candidates are banking on it.

MLive

February 19, 2022

“There’s that old saying about how everybody has a plan until you get hit the face,” Sellek said. “We haven’t really seen significant hits of any kind landed inside the GOP primary."

Experts: Politics, as well as science, fuel Whitmer COVID, mask decisions

Bridge Michigan 

February 19, 2022

“He and others point to Republican Glenn Youngkin’s victory in the Virginia gubernatorial election in November, which analysts say is largely because independents were upset over school closures from COVID. “They (the Whitmer administration) look really smart from a political science perspective right now,” Sellek said. “She is making moves to the middle with every move she makes.”

What does the San Fransisco school recall mean for 2022?

WJR - Detroit

February 16, 2022

“Sellek, Founder and CEO of Harbor Strategic Public Affairs, talks with Guy Gordon about San Francisco voters ousting three members of the Board of Education, and what it means for the midterm elections."

GOP candidate for governor wants to convert Super Bowl ad into higher name recognition

The Detroit Free Press

February 13, 2022

“Sellek, CEO of Lansing-based Harbor Strategic Public Affairs, said one risk of airing Super Bowl ads is that "you're competing with the world's best ads," and if the ad does not make a strong impression, "people are going to throw their Doritos" at their screens.

Michigan governor's race: U.S. Rep. Lisa McClain endorses Tudor Dixon

The Detroit News

February 9, 2022

“She has done this methodically by winning the Trump consultant sweepstakes, then holding a Mar-a-Lago event with Trump and now adding a second pro-Trump congressional endorsement," the consultant added."

Self-funded millionaires, small-dollar donors shape Republican race to challenge Whitmer

MLive - Statewide

February 3, 2022

“It might seem odd that Craig is more visible to a national audience, but it’s all strategy “Every time you see him go on Fox News, they fundraise off it,” said John Sellek, CEO of the Michigan consulting firm Harbor Strategic Public Affairs."

Breaking Down What Was Said, and Not Said, in State of the State Address

9 & 10 News - Traverse City

January 27, 2022

“She said, ‘Hey I hear you, schools should be open,’ but she didn’t say a school‘s must be open,” said Sellek. “She doesn’t have that control but she only touched on the issue without actually using her bully pulpit.”

Reviewing Gov. Whitmer’s State of the State Speech

Morning Wake Up - WILS AM

January 27, 2022

Dave Akerly and John Sellek weighed in on Governor Whitmer's State of the State Address.

John and Michael Patrick Shiels analyze Governor Whitmer's State of the State address.

The Big Show - Statewide

January 27, 2022

“She is laying claim to the independent voters who have now abandoned President Biden.”

Whitmer calls for tax cuts and unity in 2022 State of the State address

Michigan Public Radio

January 26, 2022

Hosted by Michigan Radio's Rick Pluta, it also includes analysis  by John Sellek (CEO, Harbor Strategic Public Affairs).

New Developments in the New Macomb Congressional Seat

Guy Gordon Show - WJR Detroit

January 24, 2022

John Sellek talks with Guy about polling numbers showing Governor Whitmer's lead over former Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

New Developments in the New Macomb Congressional Seat

Marie Osborn Show-WJR Detroit

January 21, 2022

Sellek, Founder and CEO Harbor Strategic Public Relations, discusses the interesting names Democrats are floating as candidates for the newly drawn 10th district in Macomb County.

What multi-billion dollar investments mean for GM, EVs and Michigan future

The Detroit News

January 21, 2022

“Having General Motors standing next to her is worth its weight in gold, and she will amplify it in her speech on Wednesday,” Sellek said. Unlike GM, Ford and partner SK Innovation picked Kentucky and Tennessee for a total $11.4 billion investment.

The President Speaks

WJR AM - Detroit

January 20, 2022

John Sellek talks with Kevin and Tom about about President Biden's press conference.

Chances were missed to stop U. of Michigan sexual abuse

Associated Press

January 19, 2022

“WilmerHale found at least 20 occasions when a student, athlete or other individual spoke with university staff about Anderson."

University of Michigan reaches $490 million settlement in Robert Anderson abuse case

ESPN

January 19, 2022

“The University of Michigan has agreed to a $490 million settlement with more than 1,000 people who say they were sexually assaulted by Dr. Robert Anderson during his nearly four-decade career at the school"

Sexual Assault Survivors of UM Doctor Call for Culture Change With New President

9 & 10 News Traverse City

January 18, 2022

“This is a Dr. Frankenstein and these are the kinds of things that went on that you don’t know about because this university will not commit to transparency,” said Robert Stone, a survivor

Supreme Court blocks vaccine mandate for large businesses, not healthcare workers

WDIV - Detroit

January 14, 2022

“With this mandate, what we really were voicing concerns about were the unintended consequences associated with it,” said Wendy Block of Listen To MI Businesses. “Just the logistical challenges that went along with this.”

Trump's support in Michigan dips, creating crunch for GOP, Detroit News-WDIV poll finds

Detroit News

January 12, 2022

“They may not want to vote for him, but he retains the ability to be a voice of their frustrations, even if they are afloat at sea on a partisan basis," Sellek said."

Is The Maps Becoming Scraps Likely? Is It Unlikely? Or Something In Between?

MIRS News

January 3, 2022

“Where to live is the toughest choice if you fear the maps will change due to a VRA suit or other issues,” he said."

Pollsters and Pundits with Tim Skubick

Off The Record, WKAR

December 24, 2021

“Pollsters join pundits Adrian Hemond and John Sellek along with Tim Skubick to look ahead at what to expect from Michigan politics in the new year."