Brad who? President Trump has hired Topeka native Brad Parscale, the digital media director of his 2016 campaign, to run his re-election bid, the campaign announced.
But who is Brad Parscale? He’s hardly a household name.
In early 2015, when Trump was exploring the idea of running for president, he hired Parscale to design a website. Parscale did the job for the unimaginable sum of $1,500. Based on the results, it apparently worked.
Parscale, 42, was born in Topeka in 1976. At 6’8″, he played basketball at Shawnee Height High School in Tecumseh. His father Dwight worked for the high-flying video animation firm New Tek. Unable to recruit the necessary talent to Topeka, New Tek moved to San Antonio in the early 1990s, and the Parscales followed. Brad attended the University of San Antonio on a basketball scholarship, and after an injury ended his career, he later graduated from nearby Trinity University.
As late as 2011, Parscale was hustling web design jobs from the Barnes & Nobles in San Antonio. In 2011, he got his first website project with the Trump organization, specifically for Trump International Reality, the organization’s luxury property brokerage. The Trumps liked his work and kept feeding him new projects.
After Trump announced for the presidency, the largely apolitical Parscale got the nod to coordinate all of the digital advertising for the primaries. The campaign set up its digital shop in San Antonio. Parscale pumped tons of money into Facebook ads–far more than the Russians did. According to Buzzfeed, Parscale “on some fundamental level, understood the aesthetic and appeal of Donald Trump.”
“Brad,” one campaign veteran told Buzzed, “really became the campaign manager.” Unlike many other Trump advisers, the humble, conspicuously bearded Parscale worked hard and successfully to maintain a low profile.
“Donald Trump won the campaign,” Parscale told Buzzed, “and I was empowered by Jared Kushner and lucky to be around people like Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon,” he added. “I think I took Mr. Trump’s and Jared’s confidence in me and did the best job possible. And I had a great team.”
The allegedly open-minded San Antonio tech community has not been as welcoming. Parscale’s work for Trump has netted him many cold shoulders and a few death threats. “He loves San Antonio, but he also has kind of taken to what he’s doing,” Dwight Parscale said of his son. “He is close to the Trump family. Unbelievably loyal. They’ve been good to him.”
It may be time for Brad Parscale to return to Topeka.