J.D. Scholten isn't your average congressional candidate. He's not a millionaire. He's never held elected office. Politics isn't in his blood, but Iowa is. He's a fifth generation Iowan who grew up to be a professional baseball pitcher, before his grandma, Grandma Fern, asked him to move back home and take care of the family farm. He found a job that paid too little and didn't have good benefits. He saw exactly what happened when politicians put profits ahead of people, and that is when he answered the call to serve and do whatever he could to make life better for the community he loves so much.
J.D.'s story is unique, and so is WIN's. There's nothing traditional about us—we push boundaries, and we're proud of that. Through media strategy and buying, and creative direction, we cut through the noise and reach voters where they are in a way that not only resonates but inspires.
Our partnership with J.D. was organic and hinged on the fact that he's not running against Steve King, who currently represents Iowa's 4th district, but he's running for the people of Iowa. He's running to serve the community that has been abandoned by someone who continues to spew racism, sexism and xenophobia to push forward his own selfish, hateful agenda. J.D.'s not running for Congress for fame, money or power ... he's running to serve others. And that's exactly the motivation behind his campaign launch video that was developed and produced by WIN.
Our video showcases the lives of Iowans along Highway 30, J.D.'s district, from the farmlands to the rolling green hills to the family homes that are passed down from generation to generation. It's about the people of this community—not J.D.—that's why he appears only in the last 20 seconds of the ad. What defines both J.D. and Iowa is the importance of community—the values, hopes and dreams that bind us together. Not the success of the individual, but the collective achievements of the community.
A special addition to this beautiful spot is the narration. Although he rarely wades into politics, Kevin Costner agreed to lend his voice because of the urgency of this moment in politics and in our country. It was important to Kevin that the ad not be about punching down, but about lifting people up—a perfect match for J.D. and his philosophy ... an especially perfect match because J.D.'s two favorite movies are Bull Durham and Field of Dreams!
Despite Steve King's laundry list of reprehensible views and comments, our ad doesn't mention Steve King once. It's about lifting up the community, elevating the voices of Iowans, and putting forward a positive vision for the future.
Our country will only retreat backwards if our differences continue to be a point of attack and demonization. We need to support political candidates and causes that will bring us together. That's what we do at WIN, and that's what will ensure that our country's future is brighter for all.