SCOTT COMER

FOUNDER/PRINCIPAL

Scott appears in the Top 100

U.S. Business Leaders Magazine

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Scott Comer

For years, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker has told allies and adversaries alike “I see you, and I love you.” For seasoned political operative Scott Comer, these words serve as a guiding light that informs his work in politics, philanthropy, and the private sector. At just 30 years old, Scott is a respected Washington “insider” whose consulting firm roster reads like a Who’s Who of the Democratic Party; his wisdom and insight belie his age. He is the resounding—and hopeful—voice of a new generation that is determined to be heard and the energetic, passionate founder of Fortune Hill Group. The Maryland-based political fundraising and events management firm is dedicated to maximizing its clients’ resources and influence, with a keen focus on supporting Democratic candidates of color and social justice initiatives. Since opening its doors in 2017, Fortune Hill Group has worked with numerous political campaigns, party committees, and progressive organizations. They have supported such notable leaders as President Joe Biden, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Georgia Congresswoman Lucy McBath, and Florida Congresswoman and vice-presidential finalist Val Demings - who recently announced her candidacy for U.S. Senate. Fortune Hill Group also counts The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Foundation and The Trust for the National Mall among its client list. We spoke with Scott about his greatest sources of inspiration, his role as a champion of aspiring—and inspiring—leaders, and some of his most memorable experiences from the campaign trail.

What are your primary responsibilities as Fortune Hill’s Founder and Principal?

 

First and foremost, I am the firm’s chief strategist. I am constantly surveying the nation’s political landscape in exacting detail. The data points that I collect – public opinion polls, demographic trends, national party messaging, candidate skill, campaign organization, etc. – ultimately converge to reveal comprehensive election models that I reference to create campaign finance strategies for my clients. Because I have cultivated close relationships with many Democratic Party donors, I use these insights to raise millions of dollars for my clients by connecting them with high net-worth individuals in my network. I have cultivated relationships with these donors over many years and call on them for support when I suspect that a client’s story will resonate with them. I also support nonprofit organizations that promote collective healing through racial justice, which is among my top priorities.

 

You place great emphasis on supporting candidates of color. Why is this important to you?

 

Public service is meant to uplift the downtrodden, to see the unseen, and to champion the forgotten. As Senator Cory Booker often says, “If America has never broken your heart, then maybe you don’t love her enough.” My love for our country has never wavered, but she has certainly broken my heart and the hearts of marginalized communities everywhere, particularly communities of color. My journey has been about leveraging my skills to support vulnerable incumbents and candidates of color who have limited access to national donor networks and whose voices must be elevated. I'm a man of faith; I believe that we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers. That enduring truth informs every decision I make in my career, from which candidates to support to which policies to endorse. Most importantly, it commands me to reach across divides of race, gender, political affiliation, and sexual orientation to demonstrate "courageous empathy" for people from every walk of life.

 

Cory Booker and Val Demings have served as your greatest inspirations. Tell us about this.

 

Both inspire me to persevere on even the hardest days. Washington has no shortage of cynics and naysayers. The first time I heard Cory Booker speak, I left with tears in my eyes. Listening to his sermon of civility, he kept returning to the theme of “courageous empathy.” To me, this means we each have our convictions and priorities, but at the end of the day, politics is about people. It starts with honesty across race and gender, opening your heart to hearing someone else’s story, and having the empathy and willingness to jump across the divide and embrace someone who’s different from you. Similarly, Congresswoman Val Demings has become a role model, friend, a mentor—and my birthday buddy. I want every little girl growing up Black in America to see their own potential in her American Dream. To see a woman who faced so many obstacles to become a congresswoman at the top of the Democratic Party is both moving and deeply inspiring.

 

What compelled you to enter politics?

 

When I was a boy, my father and I traveled to Washington to celebrate my eleventh birthday. I was awestruck as the Capitol Building whizzed past the windows of our taxicab. We drove past the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, and it stirred something in me, this reverence for democracy. A few days later, we attended a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. I didn’t know what the meeting was about, but I knew that I was in the presence of many guardians of American democracy. It was in that moment that I knew I was going to be in politics, and there was never a moment where I cast aside that dream. America is a project to which there is no conclusion. It’s something that must be nurtured and protected, and I remain determined to play an active role in it.

In 2012, I was accepted into President Obama’s White House Internship Program. I went on to serve as special assistant to Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley before joining Lt. Governor Anthony Brown’s gubernatorial campaign as director of constituency engagement. The following year, I was asked to serve as the Democratic National Committee’s finance chief of staff during the 2016 election cycle, which was a tremendous honor, and I founded Fortune Hill Group the following year. This whole journey has been such a blessing. I always dreamed about it, but I’m eternally grateful that it became a reality.

You have planned tremendously successful donor receptions featuring President Biden, governors, and members of Congress. Can you share a few of your most memorable events?

I place a great deal of emphasis on curating special experiences for donors and their guests, from surprise celebrity appearances to thematic catering, and flowers, to the layout of the space and everything in between. It’s hard to choose a favorite, but the first one that comes to mind is a weekend donor retreat I organized in Miami Beach for 150 DNC supporters—my responsibilities included suite assignments, food and beverage, daily programming, and securing speakers ranging from the Cabinet to Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Later Chairwoman Wasserman Schultz would refer to it as the best donor retreat she'd ever attended. I was also assigned to multiple events featuring President Obama, including my own event, the committee's annual LGBT Gala.

 

Scott holds a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in art history from the University of Maryland, where he was awarded the President’s Scholarship. His senior thesis “Pillow Talk Politics: The Influence of the Countess of Castlemaine and the Demise of the first Earl of Clarendon” was published by UMD in 2013. Scott is a member of the American Association of Political Consultants, the Chief of Staff Association, and is a silver life member of the NAACP. He is also a founding member of the Cory Booker for Senate National Finance Committee and serves as finance chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Party.

 

Contact:

Scott Comer

Founder and Principal

Fortune Hill Group

Website: www.fortunehillgroup.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottecomer

Facebook: @Scott Comer