Smoky Mountains Sunrise

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Former Georgetown GOP Chair Tom Swatzel Launches Campaign Consulting Firm

Tom Swatzel
Tom Swatzel stepped down this past weekend after two extraordinarily successful terms as Chairman of the Georgetown County Republican Party.  We profiled just one of his many political wins here last November.  And South Carolina political leaders took note of his many accomplishments in a flood of congratulatory messages as his service to the Georgetown GOP came to an end.  But the good news  is that those winning political skills will now be available to Republican candidates throughout South Carolina and beyond.

The two-term party chairman, who honored a term limit pledge by not seeking reelection Saturday at the county party convention, Tuesday announced the formation of Swatzel Strategies, a campaign, issue advocacy, and public and media relations consulting firm.

“I have over 20 years of experience in developing and implementing effective campaign strategies for both candidates and issue advocacy groups. Starting Swatzel Strategies will allow me to use my experience to help conservative candidates or groups and businesses in general develop effective strategies for winning campaigns at the ballot box, legislatively, or in the court of public opinion,” Swatzel said.

Swatzel Strategies is a full service consulting firm offering political candidates at all levels strategic campaign plans and complete campaign management services such as direct mail, media communications, polling, get-out-the-vote initiatives, live and automated phone campaigns, opposition research and analysis, campaign promotional identity, literature and signage, and website design.

“For clients who want to advance legislative or regulatory issues, we will develop, organize, and implement political and communications strategies to effectively advance public awareness of their issue, generating strong grassroots support and positive outcomes before legislative or regulatory bodies,” Swatzel said. 

“If a client wants to generate positive publicity and enhance their public perception, we will develop strategies to effectively communicate a client’s story or message to the media and generate ongoing coverage and awareness,” he said.

Swatzel’s experience with issue advocacy dates back to 1988 when he organized from scratch and directed the South Carolina Freedom to Fish Coalition, a statewide grassroots advocacy group that succeeded in blocking legislation which would have imposed an onerous saltwater fishing license fee on fishermen, harming South Carolina’s coastal tourism-based economy.

He has since founded South Carolinians for Responsible Government, a statewide group based in Columbia that focuses on education reform and limited government issues, and was a founding member of both the Citizen Legislators Caucus Foundation, a national group that advocated term limits for Congress, and the South Carolina Coalition Against Unlimited Spending, a statewide coalition that advocated imposing spending caps on local government.

Swatzel’s political campaign experience began in 1994 when using a sophisticated campaign of intense personal contact, media messaging, and voter identification and turnout he defeated a three-term Democratic incumbent county councilman by a two-to-one margin, becoming the first Republican councilman in Georgetown County history.  He was reelected without opposition in 1998, and honored a self-imposed term limit pledge by not seeking re-election in 2002.

Swatzel was elected chairman of the Georgetown County GOP in 2007. Under his leadership, the Georgetown party set fund raising records, captured a majority on the county council that prior to Swatzel’s election had never included a Republican, and used a hard-hitting direct mail and radio campaign in 2010 that ousted 14-year incumbent Democrat Vida Miller and elected a 22 year old unknown Republican, Kevin Ryan, to the state House of Representatives.

The website for Swatzel’s firm is

He said the website will include a description of the new firm’s services and also testimonials to Swatzel’s past effectiveness, including from political opponents as well as allies.

Former Georgetown County Democratic Party chairman Jamie Sanderson is quoted as saying of Swatzel, “He had a playbook, he ran it, and he won repeatedly.”

Sanderson’s unintended tribute to Swatzel’s effectiveness even took the form of a complaint: “Isn’t it a fair question to ask why every single press release Swatzel manifests makes breaking news or front page headlines?. . . What makes Swatzel’s press releases so dire, so important, so needful that it has to make the front page?”

“Often times the best testimony to effectiveness comes from those who aren’t happy about it,” Swatzel said.

As we've noted, we relish the thought of what Tom Swatzel, as political consultant or candidate, might do were he to turn  those effective political skills on one rogue United States Senator  from South Carolina in 2014.  We have a feeling Tom Swatzel's most awesome accomplishments are ahead of him.


Anonymous said...

Daniel - I enjoyed this article very much and had some follow-up questions. Is Tom a Christian who is also committed to this site's objectives or just another republican consultant? What makes his work so special that it attracted your attention? Does he live to make a positive God-honoring difference in his work? I ask because I am looking for a campaign consultant with a higher purpose than a political party. Can you recommend any?

Daniel J. Cassidy said...

There is no campaign consultant I would recommend more highly than Tom Swatzel. He is a gentleman, a Christian and an experienced, highly gifted and knowledgeable consultant who only assists candidates who are social and economic conservatives. I recommend him without reservation and were I running for office, Tom Swatzel would be the first person I would call.