Success Story

James Talarico


for Texas House (TX HD-52)


Two different Tech for Campaigns teams provided the James Talarico campaign with digital ads and peer-to-peer texting programs. Both programs ran several months and focused on awareness, persuasion, and GOTV.


James Talarico is a native Texan who ran to flip Texas House District 52 in Round Rock near Austin. James attended the University of Texas, before receiving his master's degree from Harvard in education policy. After graduation, he served as a public school teacher before becoming the executive director of a non-profit focused on providing technology for students. James ran for an open seat in a very competitive district (Trump won the district by just 1 point in 2016.) At 29, James is now the youngest ever state representative in Texas.

Tech Needs

As a first-time candidate, James had a limited budget. Though knowledgeable about digital advertising, the campaign team needed assistance running a targeted ads program and texting potential voters. Tech for Campaigns also provided assistance with best practices and digital strategies.

"Working on the James Talarico campaign was an amazing experience. It felt great to apply my work/educational experience to do my part to close the gap in the Texas House of Representatives."

— Zach Winston, Data Scientist

The Team

John Dobrowlski
Team Lead
Day job:
GM Social, Kenshoo
Katie Bakunas
Paid Marketer
Day job:
Client Strategy, The Trade Desk
Jared Christman
Day job:
Product Designer, Headway
Jennifer Lin
Team Lead
Day job:
Director of Product Management, Crossref
Amir Salehzadeh
Day job:
Digital Strategist and Senior Associate, Precision Strategies
Rachel Katz
Day job:
Finance and Administration Director, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
Zach Winston
Day job:
Data Scientist, Stitch Fix

The Work

Digital Ads

The ads team built a full-funnel plan focused on name recognition, issue awareness, persuasion, and driving voter turnout. The rich, dynamic creative assets incorporated personal videos in service of broad awareness.

Smart Texting

The texting team ran a full peer-to-peer texting campaign using TFC's SmartTexting process - which brings an analytical approach to planning, executing, and analyzing peer-to-peer texting campaigns. The work drove multiple campaign objectives including voter registration, volunteer recruitment, event advertising, candidate awareness, and voter turnout.

The Results

The TFC teams had a considerable impact on voter awareness across a district of roughly 165,000 people. The digital ads campaign delivered more than 3.1M impressions across Facebook and the Google Display Network. The texting team delivered 73,558 messages with an average response rate of almost 9%. James won his race by 3.4%.

"We've been blown away by the quality of work and quick responsiveness of our TFC teams. We can be picky clients but TFC was always up to the challenge. They've been essential to our program. Furthermore, in a stressful campaign environment, our TFC partners approached every discussion with kindness, encouragement, and joy."
— Tyler Mitchell, Campaign Manager for James Talarico

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