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our story


BaughmanMerrill is led and owned by a biracial man and an LGBTQ+ woman and powered by a majority-minority staff that offers award-winning media, management, and strategy for Democrats. We specialize in winning strategies and creating and delivering game-changing direct mail, digital and media so your message cuts through and gets the win.



Katie grew up in Newark, OH, the daughter of an Air Force B-52 bomber pilot, and endured early heartbreak as a diehard Cleveland Browns fan. She moved to California after college and began her career as an organizer for LGBTQ rights in Sacramento, where she met her wife, Tracy.


For the past 25 years, Katie and Tracy have shared adventures, travels, bike trips, mountain hikes, and more - all with their loving dogs in tow. Tracy is a professionally trained civil engineer, but Katie calls Tracy her official “focus group of one.”


1997 New Hampshire

wedding ceremony


Hiking Sawtooth Wilderness

with Pinkie the Poodle 🐾 


Bride + Bride



Duane is the proud son (and now full time Alzheimer's caregiver) for his mother, an immigrant West Indian woman of color. Duane grew up between Barbados and East Grand Rapids, MI where his parents were the first, and for years, the only mixed race marriage in that small midwest town. 


Duane + his cousin Marc, in Harlem, NY where his family has lived since the 1950's


Duane with his mother in Barbados on her 70th birthday, before developing Alzheimer's disease


Duane's mom, Annette, immigrated from Barbados to America in 1958



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progressive early state push for tom steyer for president

Katie served as Chief National Direct Mail Consultant to Tom Steyer for President, overseeing strategy, content, and delivery of over 12 million pieces of mail in five early voting states that helped the campaign repeatedly outperform expectations and surge in national polls, and put climate change—along with Tom's efforts to lift people above corporations and deliver economic, racial, and environmental justice to all Americans—front and center.

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we win in california


From statewide to local, we’ve handled it all in California. BaughmanMerrill helped Eleni Kounalakis and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra become the first woman Lt. Governor and first Latino Attorney General respectively in California history. Our work for Controller Betty Yee lifted her to a record-breaking re-election, making her the top vote-getter in the state and the nation in 2018 with over 8 million votes.

BaughmanMerrill mail, TV, and digital swept London Breed into San Francisco’s City Hall as the first African American woman elected Mayor and our 2020 work in San Diego flipped a City Council seat by electing Deputy City Attorney Raul Campillo the first Latino to represent the district.

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we win ballot measures

BaughmanMerrill has over two decades of experience executing mail programs and managing initiative campaigns from coast to coast. Last cycle, we created the digital toolkit for Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS) in support of Measure 108 to curb vaping and our general consulting, digital, and direct mail passed

San Francisco’s $628 million earthquake emergency and fire safety bond Prop B with 83% of the vote. 

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we win for congressional candidates

BaughmanMerrill has elected or re-elected dozens of Congressional candidates across the country. In Orlando, our mail helped Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy crush her 2018 Republican opponent by 15 points and re-elected her in 2020. We produced the micro-targeted bilingual mail for House Majority PAC last cycle that helped run up the score for Democrats in Central and Southern California, and we partnered with Center Forward to produce mail in swing-districts that sent Reps. Tom O’Halleran and Jared Golden back to Congress.

our wins
Ballot Measures
Image by Gradienta

are you ready to change the game?

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advocacy mail that beat big tobacco

BaughmanMerrill was honored to be part of Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund’s communications team that beat back Big Tobacco’s deceptive $3 million lobbying campaign in California and passed the state’s first landmark legislation to end vaping and the sale of flavored tobacco. The bill received unanimous support in the Assembly and Senate, and the Governor’s signature into law. BaughmanMerrill produced and delivered over 70 individually micro-targeted mail pieces to tens of thousands of voters to pass this important legislation.

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turning florida blue

From the Panhandle to Central Florida and the Gulf Coast to Jacksonville and Miami-Dade, we’ve handled mail services for and on behalf of clients across the state, including U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy and Congressmen Al Lawson and Darren Soto. Last cycle, we produced the statewide mail signature collection effort for Ban Assault Weapons Now (BAWN)  ballot initiative that saw a jaw-dropping 15% response rate and we handled the mail for the independent effort that helped State Senator Tina Polsky win her primary and elected commonsense gun reform supporter and Navy veteran Andrew Learned to the Florida State House.

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flipping and protecting democratic seats across ohio

We’re proud to have fought for numerous state legislators across Ohio and on behalf of the Ohio Democratic Party and Ohio House Democratic Caucus for over a decade. Last cycle, our mail defended rising star House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes with a resounding re-election and returned former State Representative and Lake County Commissioner Dan Troy to the Ohio State House. 

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first-of-its-kind polling on battleground
vote-by-mail voters

BaughmanMerrill partnered with California pollster Dave Metz of FM3 Research to conduct innovative in-depth, national battleground polls to uncover new vote-by-mail trends against the backdrop of the pandemic. Our findings uncovered what motivates voters in swing states to drop their ballots in mailboxes, the channels they trust to get their electoral information, and when exactly they plan on voting—then communicated with them accordingly. The groundbreaking poll earned national press from Politico.

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new housing + 
public open space

BaughmanMerrill general consulting, mail, digital and media helped pass land-use initiative Measure Y in Danville, CA, with a decisive victory over its NIMBY opposition, making it one of only two land-use measures of its kind to pass in California in recent years and delivering 381 acres of new publicly accessible open space in Danville for all to enjoy.

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changing the game for corporations and NGOs

BaughmanMerrill has over 25 years of putting our political communications experience to work leading educational, persuasion, informational and crisis communications campaigns for corporations and NGOs across the country. 

Years in the trenches has taught us that a communications campaign based on an all-channel media effort made up of paid, earned, and owned communication sources can be the key for an organization seeking to achieve a specific goal with any audience, whether regulatory bodies, elected officials, the general public, or all of the above.

​Our team of experienced persuasion communication professionals has been applying the same strategic principals we bring to bear in nationwide, statewide, or citywide political campaigns to “win” the communications battles for dozens of non-political clients.

Big Tobacco
vote by mail
Housing + Development
Corportaions + NGOs
San Francisco

25 years experience

Our firm and our partners, Duane Baughman and Katie Merrill, mutually and individually have worked on crisis communications projects, persuasion communications, and grassroots communications projects for organizations and companies such as:


Caruso real estate • Stanford University • AAA • Environmental Defense Fund • The US Travel Association • AT&T • Southern California Edison•  Con Edison • JACK Entertainment • Davidon Homes • Susan G. Komen Foundation • National Venture Capital Association

We are here to meet and exceed the specific and tailored needs of every client and offer every platform necessary to fulfill all aspects necessary to accomplish a successful communications campaign, from polling, focus groups, direct mail, digital advertising, to electronic media (TV and radio), TV buying and placement, social media, website development and design, to press and media relations, op-eds, Letters to the Editor, newspaper advertisements, paid phones, and texting.


We are BaughmanMerrill. Electing Game Changers. Putting our political communications expertise to work for corporations and NGOs for over 25 years.

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gamechanging media

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peabody award winning documentary bhutto

Called an "intelligent, provocative" film by The Huffington Post, Duane Baughman's Bhutto was nominated for an Emmy Award  and is a winner of a prestigious Peabody Award. Directed and produced by Baughman, the film follows the barrier-shattering life of the first Muslim woman to lead an Islamic nation. Bhutto also earned an EPIC Award from the White House Project for its promotion of women's rights. Baughman is the only American political consultant to ever win a coveted Peabody Award.


our team

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duane baughman


favorite cocktail: belvedere, "super chilled"

Duane oversaw 20 million pieces of mail for New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg's election and re-election campaigns, and was one of only 6 national Democratic mail strategists hired by the DCCC to develop and execute the mail campaign responsible for winnning back the Democratic majority in the U.S. House in 2006. 

 Duane managed the development of over 30 million pieces of mail and a multi-million dollar budget for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, winning a history-making 20 primaries. His mail has helped pass statewide initiatives and helped elect and re-elect Democrats at every level in every corner of California. Duane lives in San Francisco.

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katie merrill


favorite song: stairway to heaven (the perfect rock song)

One of California's most successful female and LGBTQ+ campaign managers and statewide consultants, Katie's served as strategic advisor to candidates for governor, U.S. Senate and Attorney General and implemented the winning statewide strategy for California's Prop. 35, which toughened laws against human trafficking and banked over 10 million votes making it the largest vote getting initiative in American political history. Katie led the Overturn Citizens United and Yes on Prop 59 campaign to victory in 2016, and oversaw the successful field campaign to defeat Proposition 23 in 2010, which would have rolled back California's landmark climate change law. Katie has dedicated her career to electing women, minorities and progressives to all levels of elected office, from city council to U.S. President. 

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allen fong


favorite travel destination: hawaii

Allen brings over 15 years of experience in print and mail production to BaughmanMerrill. His relentless attention to detail is renowned in the industry, making Allen the backbone of BaughmanMerrill.  Allen will guarantee that your mail is printed at the lowest postage rate, at the highest level of quality and always delivered on time and on target.

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andy san diego


favorite song: dead roses, rolling stones 

Called “hands-down the most creative designer in American political direct mail,” Andy leads the BaughmanMerrill Art Department producing cutting edge mail responsible for dozens of “Pollie awards” and has set a sharp new standard for political direct mail.

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kerry mullen



favorite tv show: seinfeld 

Kerry has over a decade of experience crafting winning messaging and political strategy for the firm’s top clients, ballot measures, and independent expenditures, including our work for Tom Steyer for President. She manages our direct mail programs through design to production, and has handled the targeting of dozens of campaigns, from local to statewide, and has overseen millions in direct mail budgets.

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ariana piña


favorite book: wired, bob woodward  

From super PACs to rural congressional districts, Ariana delivers cutting-edge digital assets for campaigns including multi-lingual digital video production across all device types, including connected TV. Ariana oversees our digital targeting of voters across the country, from statewide campaigns to local races and is the executive producer of California State Controller Betty Yee’s premiere podcast The California Table — dedicated to shining the spotlight on California’s diverse community leaders coming together to create their own tables to tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time. 


contact us

Our Address

1592 Union Street #401

San Francisco, CA 94123

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