Republican Technologists Plan Hackathon, Organize to Advise Campaigns on Tech

As reported by Politico, Aaron Ginn and Garrett Johnson are creating a focal point for Republicans among the startup community to organize and have an impact on the GOP through bringing solid data skills to the table as a sounding board for campaigns unsure about their tech base.

They’re planning a hackathon to develop campaign tools. The only two major races in 2013 are the governors (and lieutenant governors) races in New Jersey and Virginia. They already have an expression of support from the campaign of the New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, who is running for reelection. Watch to see how the other key campaigns engage.

Interestingly, they have support from Harper Reed, CTO of Obama ’12. It’s very rare to see someone of Harper’s position contribute to the other party, so Democrats’ reactions will be a valuable signal about how the party perceives its ownership of its tech. In context, the Obama campaign had a recent clash with the open source community over campaign technology.

Further, interest has been very strong from DC organizations, such as the Republican National Committee and other Republican campaign groups. As a first step, Aaron and Garrett are routing requests to review and advise campaigns on the technology proposals presented by vendors. Through the group, the guys hope to have an impact in encouraging a more effective tech base for those campaigns that work with them.

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