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MEDIA 2021

How COVID and Elections Will Shape 2022 Landscape

TV 9 & 10 News, Traverse City

December 30, 2021

“The organizing feature for this election, will still be COVID. Whether we are talking about the issue itself or how it was responded to or the tangential effects that are still hitting,” said Sellek, “Like right now the current one is inflation."

Self-funding Republican Kevin Rinke launches campaign for governor with ad blitz

Detroit News

December 22, 2021

"Sellek, the CEO of the Michigan political consulting firm Harbor Strategic Public Affairs, said the window for sitting back and watching Whitmer was closing, less than a year before the November election.”

Governor Whitmer's New Ad

1320 WILS AM - Lansing

December 17, 2021

"John Sellek talks with Dave Akerly about Governor Whitmer's new ad.”

Past discrimination suits loom over Kevin Rinke's run for Michigan governor

Detroit News

December 10, 2021

"The great unknown with first-time candidates is how they fare under scrutiny, especially a long professional record, said Sellek.”

James Craig paying more than $900 per day for armed guards in unusual campaign expense


December 14, 2021

"It certainly burns the campaign cash flow, but in today’s political environment maybe that’s just a new part of doing business,” Sellek said.”

Can a former Democrat win Michigan’s GOP heart? James Craig may soon find out

Bridge Michigan

December 15, 2021

"Every serious candidate for the GOP nomination supports Trump but right now it is boiling down to two lanes —  those who run Trump-first and those running as their own person but advocating for Trump issues,” Sellek said.”

Opinion: Legislation would empower survivors of U-M's Dr. Robert Anderson

Detroit Free Press

November 29, 2021

"Because the university investigation found that many school employees knew about abuse accusations over the years but failed to stop Anderson, we believe the survivors are justified to pursue damages against the school.”

Rinke Attempts Big Splash


November 24, 2021

"While he is using the talking points of the Trump GOP, he never mentions Trump's name in a Youngkin-like effort to be ready for the general election by giving suburban voters permission to come back”

Trump backs loyalist for Michigan House GOP leadership post

Bridge Michigan

November 11, 2021

"Legislative leadership races "are very much internal battles, and "there's never been in history an outside endorsement that predetermined the outcome," said John Sellek."

Chiropractor-turned-activist aims to upend Michigan politics

Detroit News

November 7, 2021

"That is the question for his future viability — how does he expand his base of support?" Sellek asked.

Elections trim majority, leave slim vote margin for Michigan House GOP

Detroit News

November 4, 2021

"At 55 votes, it’s a manageable majority for Speaker Wentworth," said consultant John Sellek of Harbor Strategic. "But it puts more of a spotlight on Rep. Marino’s future status because they would love to have that vote.”

Ex-Michigan football star says he was abused by a team doctor. Now he’s demanding answers.

NBC News

October 15, 2021

"Sellek, a spokesperson for the survivors, said Vaughn took it upon himself to stage a public protest against a university that so far has apologized for failing to rein-in Anderson"

Craig campaign rollout disrupted, delayed by protesters

Michigan Radio

September 14, 2021

"The GOP certainly has long wanted to make inroads in African-American majority cities. There tends to be a lot of voters, especially seniors, who are regular churchgoers. They tend to be a little bit more conservative culturally, but they’ve never been able to make an inroad there,” he said”

Michigan counties dump mask rules for thousands of pupils amid budget mess

Bridge Michigan

September 20, 2021

"Sellek said the responsibility to eliminate the confusion of the budget language is “squarely on Gov. Whitmer’s shoulders.”

Could The 'Popular Vote' Proposal Boost Dem Turnout in '22?


September 27, 2021

"(Nessel’s) enjoyment of slashing opponents and others on social media is actually kind of Trumpian. But I agree that Rodgers is making a poor use of perfectly good hair."

Michigan GOP battle lines for 2022 form ahead of key gathering

Detroit News

September 24, 2021

"Will the personal relationships built inside the party overtake an endorsement fired off from Palm Beach for someone who hasn't spent the time inside the party?" Sellek asked."

Survivors of late University of Michigan doctor’s abuse plan protest at in-person regents meeting

Ann Arbor News

September 22, 2021

"There will be about 20-30 survivors in attendance, said John Sellek, a spokesman for the survivors."

'Victim-in-chief' or 'lemons out of lemonade'? Politicos debate Craig campaign launch

Detroit Free Press

September 18, 2021

"Sellek, a public relations expert and former state director of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign in Michigan, agreed that to some degree the protesters may have done Craig a favor."

Trump endorsements jolt GOP races


September 17, 2021

"His early endorsements have had an instant impact inside Michigan political circles, raising some from completely unknown status into candidates to be reckoned with,” observed John Sellek, a top Michigan-based Republican consultant"

What’s the status of James Craig?

WJR AM-Detroit

September 15, 2021

"John Sellek talks with Chris Renwick about James Craig launching his campaign for Governor and his appearance on Tucker Carlson's show.

Why are President Biden’s polling numbers falling?

WJR AM-Detroit

September 4, 2021

"John Sellek talks with Kevin Dietz about President Biden’s falling support.”

'They sacrificed their lives:' Rep. Meijer talks Kabul attack after unannounced visit


August 28, 2021

"I don’t think anybody is going to risk their lives in a political stunt – and that’s certainly not what he did.”

'Here we go again': How FBI raids could affect Detroit council election

Detroit News

August 25, 2021

"Corruption has no boundaries in southeast Michigan right now, but these raids, in particular, erode goodwill at the Capitol created during the bankruptcy reset and by Mayor Duggan's team in recent years," Sellek said.

Who is Tudor Dixon? She'd like to be Michigan's next governor

Detroit News

August 24, 2021

"Dixon is the wild card of the primary, said John Sellek, CEO of Harbor Strategic Public Affairs."

Rep. Peter Meijer doesn't regret taking on Trump, and he could help remake the GOP

Detroit Free Press

August 12, 2021

"Meijer has proven he is not a single issue, cardboard cutout. Despite his relative youth, he's thrown himself into this job in a way that he is talking about international issues, national issues, hyper local issues. He's funny. He's clearly thoughtful and constantly available."

Proposed law spotlights fight for local control

Hastings Banner
July 29, 2021

“Instead of having 1,400 local jurisdictions having their own standards for gravel or sand [mines], we would have one standard for the whole state, and it will be in the hands of the environmental experts,” said John Sellek, spokesman for the Michigan Aggregates Association."

Current state of the 2022 governor race

Gruber Show w/Jeff Wiggins

August 12, 2021

"The governor switched her messaging to fixing the economy. She's even got a logo for it.”

MIRS Monday Pundit Panel

August 9, 2021

“Trying to make the case for your future goals via earned media while most Michigan families are desperately making up for lost time in the summer sun probably won’t go too far. So, cue up the post-Labor Day anti-recall funded TV ads. 

Chief James Craig joins the race for governor 

Morning Wake Up, WILS AM

July 22, 2021

"If you’re her opponent, every morning that you wake up, whether you can look at Little Traverse Bay where I am, or out into an alley, you know you’re starting out $10 million behind.”

Michigan Republicans confident of beating Gretchen Whitmer with right nominee in place

Washington Examiner
July 25, 2021

“The longer she’s allowed to do that without resistance from the GOP, the better off she’ll be,” John Sellek, a Republican public relations consultant in Michigan, said Friday. “It’s a referendum on her first term — and that’s because of COVID.”

Is Michigan's recall law being taken advantage of?

Guy Gordon Show, WJR Detroit

July 28, 2021

"the pressure is on Sec of State Jocelyn Benson to decide if the recall loophole is big enough to drive a Brinks truck through or closed for business. For now, expect to see ads opposing a recall.”

Gov. Whitmer Builds Massive Funding Lead Due to Recall Efforts

TV 9&10 News
July 27, 2021

““Whether you woke up this morning thinking she had $7 million in cash on hand or $10 million cash on hand, it’s still an incredibly daunting proposition to get into the race now and try to match that,” said John Sellek. "

Detroit Councilman Andre Spivey to be indicted on alleged bribery, his lawyer says

Detroit News

July 27, 2021

"Sellek, who advised two Michigan attorneys general, “said while it can be reassuring to see justice play out, it's frustrating some public office holders haven't gotten the message that they're being watched closer than ever.”

GOP strategists: Efforts to recall Michigan Gov. Whitmer have backfired

Bridge Michigan
July 27, 2021

“For now it’s clear that Whitmer’s team figured out the “rules of the game…and they are running with it,” said Sellek, with Harbor Strategic."

Garrett Soldano leads fundraising among GOP candidates for governor 

Fox 17, Grand Rapids

July 26, 2021

"Michigan's state-level races became nationalized after Gov. Whitmer's battles with Trump helped elevate her across the country. That turned her campaign into a  fundraising machine which currently dwarfs anything we've ever seen.”

Michigan businessman prepping $10M for potential governor campaign, adviser says

Detroit News
July 26, 2021

“Instantly eliminating Gov. Whitmer's astronomical cash advantage would push him to the top tier here and capture the imagination of the national GOP power structure," said John Sellek, CEO of the Michigan-based consulting firm Harbor Strategic Public Affairs."

How can you police yourselves?’ Victims, experts skeptical of University of Michigan’s new sexual misconduct policies 


July 25, 2021

"To Vaughn, a former Michigan football and NFL player, and other survivors of sexual abuse, these changes created by the university for itself are “company speak” and quite frankly, “bulls---,” he said.”

In Michigan Trump territory, this is what's driving Senate primary race

Detroit News
July 23, 2021

“They are both susceptible to an 'outsider' challenge," said John Sellek, founder and CEO of Harbor Strategic Public Affairs. "Still, it probably comes down to the well-funded support behind Hornberger versus the endorsements of local officials Wozniak holds."

Where does Michigan's governors race stand? 

Morning Wake Up, WILS AM

July 22, 2021

"If you’re her opponent, every morning that you wake up, whether you can look at Little Traverse Bay where I am, or out into an alley, you know you’re starting out $10 million behind.”

Detroit infrastructure and flooding; No Sudden Move film; executive orders and GOP moves

Stateside, Michigan Radio 
July 16, 2021

“State parties are losing their political punch due to the growing power of “SuperPACs, Washington D.C. funding, outside groups, dark money,” says Harbor Strategic Public Affairs founder John Sellek"

Discussing the latest Michigan Government and Political news 

Guy Gordon Show, WJR Detroit

July 20, 2021

"Harbor Strategic Public Affairs founder John Sellek, a smart guy when it comes to the ins and outs of politics and what's going on behind the scenes."

Do McBroom or Shirkey face dire political fates? 

July 13, 2021

“Democrats say they are tools of Trumpism and Trump says they aren't even Republicans," Sellek said. "With that to wake up to every morning, why would they ever want to run again?"

Biden signals Michigan's midterm elections have begun. Here's how

Detroit News

July 4, 2021

"Sellek agreed. "Michigan Democrats have a big ally in Biden, who is using the powers of the presidency to show likability and hold close voters who were turned off by Trump," he said.”

Detroit's James Craig To Give First Political Speech At GOP Event In Jackson County

Deadline Detroit
July 2, 2021

“They want to see people in the flesh, they want to see how they react, how they fill a room, how they shake hands, how they respond to people, and how they respond to hard questions ... and he's gonna get a lot of hard questions,” Sellek said."

Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig to speak at Jackson County GOP event 

WDIV, Detroit 

July 1, 2021

"No offense to my family and friends in Jackson, but he can start off Broadway a little bit,” said political consultant John Sellek. “He can test out his lines and see what the reaction is from the crowd.”

More Anderson accusers to detail abuse claims on Wednesday

Detroit News
June 16, 2021

“more than three dozen Anderson accusers during a press conference Wednesday near Michigan Stadium to detail claims that he was a victim of Anderson and informed Schembechler and former UM Athletic Director Don Canham at the time, according to John Sellek, a spokesman for the group expected to attend."

Michigan Republicans demand ‘forensic audits’ of 2020 election, but party leaders say it’s time to move on

June 12, 2021

“To ask for repeated audits based on allegations of fraud when no court, clerk or legislative leader has found such evidence, as opposed to turning their focus to defeating Democrats in 2022, indicates the goal of some is simply to keep and build a block of grassroots power,” Sellek said."

Former VP Pence to speak at Michigan Republican conference 

Detroit News

May 18, 2021

"A visit to the Mackinac conference is not the same as showing up in Iowa, the state that traditionally casts the first votes in a presidential primary race, but it's long been a testing ground for those interested in running for president. That makes Pence's visit something to watch, said Sellek."

Where is the redistricting process at?


May 17, 2021

"John Sellek, founder and CEO of Harbor Strategic, talks with WJR's Chris Renwick about redrawing the congressional lines in Michigan and what it means for citizens."

Stateside: End of mask mandate; a return to Isle Royale; update on UM’s Dr. Anderson 

Stateside, Michigan Radio

May 14, 2021

"Gov. Whitmer has had the stage to herself for more than a year during the pandemic, yet fewer than half of voters say they would vote to reelect her today. She wants a Republican in the race as soon as possible to make this election a choice," Sellek said 

New push begins to ease approval of gravel mining in residential areas

Detroit Free Press

May 13, 2021

"John Sellek, a spokesman for the coalition, said the group believes EGLE can deny a permit if the agency believes there is any environmental threat posed by a proposed mine, including a threat to water quality."

Political Consultants Weigh In on What a James Craig Gubernatorial Campaign Would Look Like 

Detroit Today, WDET

May 13, 2021

"Sellek says Michigan Republicans have been searching for a major candidate to oppose Gov. Whitmer and Craig appears to fit the bill. ”There’s no doubt that Republicans are waiting and trying to find their candidate,” he says.

What does the Republican rejection of Liz Cheney mean? 

Guy Gordon Show, WJR

May 12, 2021

"John Sellek, CEO of Harbor Strategic Public Relations, talks about the Liz Cheney vote with Guy Gordon."

Chief Craig, candidate for governor? The idea has Republicans excited

FOX 17, Grand Rapids

May 10, 2021

"He's going to get asked, where do you stand on President Trump? Tell us a little bit more about your party affiliation in your past, were you a Democrat or Republican? Did you vote? But then pretty soon it's going to be, how would you do things differently than Governor Whitmer?” Sellek explained.

Craig vs. Whitmer? Retiring Detroit Police Chief Signals Interest 


May 10, 2021

"While strong leadership is clearly going to be his organizing principle, what are his policy positions?" he said. "How does he talk about fixing the economy in the face of the pandemic? How does he build a campaign staff of political operatives he likely has never met before? Is he up for the grind of fundraising?"

An Update on the Michigan Race for Governor

The Guy Gordon Show, WJR

May 10, 2021

"John Sellek, CEO of Harbor Strategic Public Relations, talks about the announcement of Chief James Craig's retirement with Guy Gordon.

James Craig’s possible run thrills Michigan GOP. Detroiters, not so much

Bridge Magazine

May 10, 2021

"In the absence of a bigger name, Chief Craig has the potential to take the GOP primary by storm, starting in southeast Michigan where he appears on television regularly,” said John Sellek of Harbor Strategic." 

A Chief James Craig candidacy for governor? It's both simple and complicated

Detroit Free Press

May 9, 2021

"The thing that carried Trump in 2016, Sellek says, is the perception that he was willing to speak his mind: "I think that’s the quality a lot of Republicans are trying to project onto Chief Craig.

Whitmer pledged openness. Lately, silence is default for Michigan governor

Bridge Michgan

May 7, 2021

"That may sound harsh, but that's what's going on with Gov. Whitmer right now,” Sellek said. “She's had a number of unforced errors.”

Prescription drug price controls could stifle cures

Detroit News

May 6, 2021

"However, the innovations that led to the vaccines are at risk. There is talk in Washington about implementing government price-setting policies. This poses a threat to patients across the state, many of whom use daily medicines that are the product of pharmaceutical discovery. 

A Chief James Craig candidacy for governor? It's both simple and complicated

Detroit Free Press

May 9, 2021

"The thing that carried Trump in 2016, Sellek says, is the perception that he was willing to speak his mind: "I think that’s the quality a lot of Republicans are trying to project onto Chief Craig.

James Craig will challenge Whitmer for governor

The Detroit News

May 7, 2021

"A Chief Craig candidacy has the potential to turn the Republican race on its head, if done right," said John Sellek, owner of Harbor Strategic public relations."  

Ep. 150: John Sellek - Navigating Michigan’s Political Landscape

Connect with KB!

May 4, 2021

"KB connects with John Sellek, who's built a reputation for networking with all sides of the political divide as CEO of Harbor Strategic Public Affairs, to learn how social media has impacted politics, who he believes could be a potential Republican Candidate to challenge the Governor in 2022, and much more!

What will reapportionment mean for Michigan's future?

Morning Wakeup, WILS

April 27, 2021

"Michigan will lose a seat in congress due to the new census data. John Sellek tells what this means for redistricting in our state.

Michigan population grows from a decade ago but state loses one U.S. House seat

Oakland Press

April 26, 2021

"Sellek, of Harbor Strategic Public Affairs, told MediaNews Group that Michigan's 8th Congressional District a "prime candidate to be dismembered" and that "a lot of mix-and-matching will be going on with the 9th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th districts as we shrink into 13 seats"

McDaniel? James? Dixon? GOP looks for Whitmer challenger


April 25, 2021

"The pandemic has made the election at this point pretty much a referendum on Governor Whitmer."

McDaniel Voices Interest In Governor's Race; James Also Weighing Bid


April 22, 2021

“John Sellek, a Republican public relations consultant, said Ms. McDaniel would be formidable. "While some Democrats will immediately relish the prospect of a Ronna candidacy, every single Democrat victory plan already involves painting the gubernatorial nominee as Trump 2.0, however it may be."

MIRS News Quote Of The Day


April 20, 2021

“The only thing that keeps getting rescheduled more often than these maps is the cable TV installation at my house." - John SELLEK of Harbor Strategic on the Citizens Redistricting Commission. It could be early 2022 before the new maps are ready.

Republicans say Gov. Whitmer appears vulnerable in 2022, if they only had a candidate

Detroit Free Press 

April 20, 2021

"With both terrorism, which Bush confronted after the 9/11 attacks, and the coronavirus pandemic, which consumes much of Whitmer's efforts, "there is no tangible way of saying, 'I fixed this,'" Sellek said."

15 things the pandemic changed for now -- and maybe forever

March 31, 2021

“Divides between Republicans and Democrats existed in Michigan well before the pandemic, but COVID-19 “agitated” it, said Republican strategist John Sellek."

John James, Tudor Dixon: Michigan GOP seeks Whitmer challenger among new, familiar faces

Detroit Free Press 

March 24, 2021

"Starting with a candidate who is already a rock star in the GOP is a benefit worth waiting for, but the money race waits for no one."

Agree to Disagree: Restoring Civility in Politics and Society

FOCUS magazine Lansing Chamber of Commerce 
March 31, 2021

“Technology, Twitter, unthinkable sums of advertising spending and the ability of advertisers to find us no matter which screen we are on means we are constantly stoked with aggressive messaging.

Agree to Disagree: Restoring Civility in Politics and Society

FOCUS magazine Lansing Chamber of Commerce 
March 31, 2021

“Technology, Twitter, unthinkable sums of advertising spending and the ability of advertisers to find us no matter which screen we are on means we are constantly stoked with aggressive messaging.

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