Jay McCleskey is President of McCleskey Media Strategies and brings over 15 years of experience running campaigns at all levels.
In both 2010 and 2014, McCleskey served as the lead consultant for Susana Martinez for Governor and is currently Governor Martinez’s chief political advisor. During the first campaign, McCleskey produced all of her paid media, direct mail, and was the chief campaign strategist for Martinez, who became New Mexico’s first female governor and the first Hispanic female elected governor in U.S. history. Martinez said, “I could not have won the election without Jay as my political consultant.”
One of the ads McCleskey produced for the Martinez campaign was awarded the Best Statewide GOP Ad in America in 2010 by Campaigns and Elections Magazine.
In the re-election campaign, McCleskey served as chief strategist for Martinez, as well as producing all of her paid media. In a state President Obama carried twice, Martinez was re- elected by 15 percentage points, receiving 49 percent of the Hispanic vote and winning by the largest margin for a Republican gubernatorial candidate in state history.
In 2014, McCleskey also served as the chief strategist for the independent expenditure campaign effort that led to Republicans winning control of the New Mexico House of Representatives for the first time since 1952. That same cycle, McCleskey also served as the media consultant for two major statewide GOP victories — Secretary of State Dianna Duran’s successful re-election and Judge Miles Hanisee’s election to the New Mexico Court of Appeals.
McCleskey additionally served as the lead consultant for the Republican Governors Association independent expenditure effort in Arizona, which helped elect Governor Doug Ducey in 2014.
In both 2009 and 2013, McCleskey served as chief strategist for Richard Berry. Mayor Berry was the first Republican mayor in Albuquerque in 25 years in an upset victory over incumbent Marty Chavez. McCleskey won two National “Pollie” awards for a Berry ad entitled, “Truck.” In 2013, McCleskey led Berry’s campaign to a 39-point victory.
From 2005 to 2009, McCleskey served as the Regional Political Director (RPD) for the Republican National Committee. During his four years as RPD, McCleskey managed the RNC’s political operations in 10 states and assisted dozens of the most competitive campaigns in the country.
In 2004, McCleskey ran the RNC’s Victory operation for President Bush’s re-election campaign in New Mexico, which was one of only two states to change from blue to red.
Prior to that, McCleskey served as Executive Director of the Republican Party of New Mexico.
Jay is married to Nicole and are raising two children (and one yellow lab) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Missi Sousa is Vice President for McCleskey Media Strategies.
Missi previously served as campaign manager for Governor Susana Martinez and Executive Director of Governor Martinez’s inaugural committee.
Prior to her work with Governor Martinez, Missi managed Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry’s successful re-election campaign in 2013.
Missi also served as the Romney for President’s National Voter Contact Director in Boston, Massachusetts. Managing a multi-million dollar budget that spanned 11 battleground states, she ran the Romney campaign’s direct mail and paid phones program, while assisting in the daily operations of the Political Department’s Analytics Division.
In 2010, Missi led the statewide field operations for Senator Dan Coats’ U.S. Senate primary campaign. To complete the election cycle, she was recruited by the Maryland Republican Party to establish and manage their grassroots operation as Statewide Victory Director. Though it was a tough election year for the GOP in a solidly blue state such as Maryland, the Victory program played an integral role in recapturing the state’s First Congressional District from Democratic control.
Missi began her career in Republican politics in the Finance Department of the National Republican Congressional Committee. In 2007, she worked for Senator John McCain’s presidential primary campaign before joining the Republican National Committee as the Regional Political Coordinator for the Southwest and Southeast during the 2008 cycle.
Missi graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts and holds a degree in Political Science.