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About Us

We are a full service political consulting and public affairs firm which has been designing and implementing winning political and communications strategies since 1995.

John Wainio and the San Diego Group

John Wainio is President of the San Diego Group, a full service political consulting and public affairs firm which has been designing and implementing winning political and communications strategies for local government agencies, elected officials, employee organizations and private firms since 1995.

Prior to forming the San Diego Group, John Wainio spent ten years as a senior staffer for elected officials at the local, state and federal levels and trained as a political consultant under some of California’s most respected strategists.

Since 1995, the San Diego Group has distinguished itself as one of the region’s most successful public affairs strategy firms with particular expertise in the areas of advocacy on behalf of development industry professionals and “independent expenditure” campaign strategies and services for associations and private firms.

John Wainio has been an invited speaker and panelist at political consulting conferences in Washington, D.C., Sacramento and San Diego. The firm’s public affairs programs and political campaigns have consistently received honors and recognition from industry publications and trade groups.



Award Winning Service

In the last election cycle alone, the San Diego Group received three of the most prestigious awards available in the industry:

Reed Award, Best Direct Mail Piece, Local Independent Expenditure, Campaigns & ElectionsMagazine

Pollie Award, Best Direct Mail Program, Local Ballot Measure, American Association of Political Consultants

Pollie Award, Best Newspaper Ad, Local ballot measure, American Association of Political Consultants

“Best Kept Secret - Outstanding Campaign Victories"

Trusted by Respected Leaders

Many of our region’s most respected organizations and leaders have trusted John Wainio to provide public affairs services on their behalf, including:

Business leaders like Lennar Homes, American Medical Response, Inc., Republic Services (Allied Waste), Vestar Development, Ryan Companies U.S., Inc., Apex Power and the San Diego Chargers

Over 200 local elected officials including former Sheriff Bill Kolender, Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach and San Diego Superior Court Judge Robert O’Neill

Trade and employee groups including the Building Industry Association, Associated Builders and Contractors, Deputy Sheriffs’ Association and dozens of public safety employee associations

Government entities including the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, County of San Diego, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, Heartland Paramedic District, South Bay Elementary School District, East County Fire Protection District, City of Santee, Santee School District, Lakeside Fire Protection District, Padre Dam/Santee Lakes and Olivenhain Municipal Water District



John Wainio grew up in San Diego, graduated from University of San Diego High School and majored in History and Political Science at the University of California, San Diego.