Founder & President
- Founded Direct Edge Campaigns in 2013
- Became Chief of Staff to the TN House Speaker after helping Republicans capture the chamber in 2010 for the first time since Reconstruction as the TN Republican Party Executive Director
- Worked in the Washington, D.C. office of the late, great, Senator Fred Thompson
- Served as Southeast Political Director for the National Federation of Independent Businesses
- Master’s Degree in Political Management from George Washington University and Bachelor’s in Business from the University of Tennessee
- Married to Lei Ann with two children, Luke and Ava, and their dog, Oreo
The first campaign I ever worked on was Blake Lay for State Senate—a rural, eight-county district right here in Tennessee. I lived above a trucking company in Lawrenceburg and the campaign headquarters were steps outside my makeshift bedroom.
Favorite Election Nights
In 2010 I was the executive director of the Tennessee Republican Party, and that year, we picked up 14 seats in the Tennessee House, gaining the first majority since Reconstruction. Our Congressional delegation going into the night was 5-4, majority Democrat. At the end of the night, it was 7-2, majority Republican. That night changed Tennessee politics forever. Another election night that meant a lot to me was in 2014. My first cycle with Direct Edge, when we were a part of flipping the West Virginia House and Senate to Republican majorities, we also won other races around the country from city council to the United States Senate.
My favorite job was driver for the late, great Senator Fred Thompson, which was my second ever political gig. Talk about an education. When talking about my career once, I was bemoaning my lack of a clear direction. He responded, “Hell, I’m almost 60 and I still don’t know what I wanna be when I grow up.” That’s one thing I learned from him: Life is a journey. I wrote about that experience here.
Best campaign advice
Be nice to interns. They may be your boss one day. I’ve been hired by several of my former interns and staffers who have reached positions of leadership within the Republican party.
- Worked for over 25 years in political roles across the country
- Expanded the Republican supermajority in the Kentucky State House by capturing an additional 14 seats as Political Director at the Republican Party of Kentucky
- Served as a member of New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez’s political team
- Helped Republicans take over the New Mexico State House for the first time in 60 years
- Political Science Degree from Eastern Kentucky University
- Married to Dana with one child, Diana
The 2010 Susana Martinez for New Mexico Governor campaign – we had a great team that had a lot of fun causing havoc for the Democrats that year.
Best Election Night
The 2020 election night with the Republican Party of Kentucky was the best. We expanded our “Super Majority” to a “Super-Duper Majority” and won every race we played in, with the exception of one.
David Adkins, New Mexico State House, 2014. We defeated a 10-term incumbent in the primary by about 20 votes.
Best Boss in Politics
My best boss in politics was Don Todd, National Republican Senatorial Committee Research Director in 2000. I learned a lot about research from Don and I still use those skills today.
The 2009 RJ Berry for Albuquerque Mayor was the biggest upset of which I was a part. No one gave us a chance when we defeated a 3-term incumbent who was nicknamed “Mayor for Life.”
- Founded Arika Miller Designs in 2009
- Began working with Direct Edge Campaigns in 2022
- Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a concentration in Graphic Design from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Mom to Ethan and Lauren and our boxer, Juju
My favorite candidate was Ken Fontenot, who ran–and won!–for the North Carolina House of Representatives. Working on the Fontenot campaign was exciting because we did a lot of unique and creative pieces of mail. I also love that it was a North Carolina race, which is where I live. I admired that he was a veteran, preacher, and former teacher and I knew his win would have a great impact not only on the people in his district but in all of North Carolina.
Favorite Mail Design
My favorite piece of mail that I designed was the ‘’Where in the World is Howard Hunter’ piece. It was a fun play on the 1980’s Carmen Sandiego character but also important to educate voters that an elected official missed several key sessions and votes. I enjoy using humor with the hopes that it will resonate with the public and get the message across. An added bonus is that this piece won a Reed award for Direct Edge!
- Served in field organizing roles at both the Republican National
- Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee
- Worked with the Pennsylvania House of Representatives as a legislative aide
- Led door knocking and grassroots efforts in both Pennsylvania and New Hampshire
- Served as campaign manager to Nashville mayoral candidate Alice Rolli
In a crowded field of 12 candidates, helping Alice Rolli make the mayoral runoff election in Nashville was one of the highlights of my career. We were outraised and outspent by nearly every candidate. However, our round-the-clock grassroots efforts and messaging based on Conservative Nashville values propelled Alice’s campaign to the next level.
Working on both congressional races and the senate race in New Hampshire in the 2022 election cycle. I was able to gain a unique perspective of what it is like to be a Conservative in New England. It was spectacular to be on the peaks of the White Mountains at midday and then to be watching whales on the rocky coast of Rye in just a couple of hours. While not all the races were necessarily successful, I learned a lot about the unique issues that New Englanders face and I am optimistic about the direction New England is trending.