Doug Pestana

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Doug Pestana
Personal Details
Birth: 1986
Education: Saint Leo University (B.A.), Harvard Business School (executive education)
Occupation: Data Scientist
Residence: Orlando, Florida
Party: (none)
Twitter: Twitter
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Douglas Davila-Pestana was a co-founder and officer of the Synergy Opportunity Liberty Organization (SOLO USA) and Campaign Manager for Juan A Martinez's 2013 race for North Las Vegas City Council. [1] [2] He was a Nevada presidential delegate for Ron Paul at the 2012 Republican National Convention, as well as a former officer of the Clark County Republican Party and a member of the Nevada Republican Central Committee, where he was considered a leader in the party's libertarian wing. [2]

Pestana is no longer active in any political party. Professionally, he is a well-known data scientist and is currently building companies in the AI space. [2] [3] [4] [5]

Early Life (1986 - 2009)

Pestana was born in the Tampa-Clearwater area of Florida in 1986. His father, originally from Columbia and experienced in the negative effects of communist movements such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, raised Pestana as a conservative. [3]

He moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2009 after graduating from Saint Leo University with a math degree. [3] [4]

Entering Politics and Ron Paul Activism (2011 - 2012)

Pestana was working as a marketing analytics manager in a Las Vegas-based bank around late 2011 when he started getting involved in local politics to support Ron Paul's presidential campaign. [4] [3] He began engaging in the Central Committee of the Clark County Republican Party. [3] He later caucused for Paul in the 2012 Nevada Republican caucuses and was elected as a delegate to the 2012 Clark County Republican Convention, then as a delegate to the 2012 Nevada Republican Convention. [3] [2] At the state convention, Pestana first met Juan A Martinez. [3] [6] Pestana was also included on the Paul campaign's officially-endorsed delegate slate, and was elected delegate to the 2012 Republican National Convention. [2]

Republican Party Leadership as a Libertarian (2012 - 2013)

In the aftermath of the 2012 Clark County Republican Convention, in which the Paul-aligned libertarian wing swept control of the party, multiple party officers resigned from their roles. [7] This left a vacancy in the role of Precinct Director (then called Precinct Coordinator), the elected officer position responsible for all of the party's grassroots field operations. Pestana was encouraged to run for the role by several of the party's libertarian board members, including Nick Gausling. Pestana ran for the position on a platform of using data to drive efficiency and decisions, and was elected with the overwhelming support of the libertarian-dominated Central Committee. He also served on the Nevada Republican Central Committee. [2]

During his tenure, Pestana explored methods to collaborate towards common aims with Nevada libertarians outside the Republican Party, including those within the Libertarian Party of Nevada. [3] [2]

Upon encouragement from a tenured Nevada Republican political consultant, Pestana led the party to engage in a ballot curing initiative to challenge the validity of voter registrations where the registered address conflicted with information obtained from the U.S. Postal Service's National Change of Address database, indicating that the voter was likely no longer living in the district where they were registered to vote. [2] After significant manual labor from volunteers comparing the addresses and signing physical affidavits to that effect --- which was required under Nevada law for challenging the validity of a voter registration --- Pestana personally hand-delivered the documentation to the head of the Clark County Registrar of Voters, Larry Lomax. [2] [3] It is unknown if the Registrar's office ever acted on the information or invalidated any of the registrations, but an analysis by Pestana after the fact indicated that they likely had not. Pestana later joked that as soon as he left the building, 'the papers probably went directly into the trash.' [3]

Pestana also had operational oversight of a substantial voter ID and registration effort that the county party conducted in a few targeted state legislature districts which had libertarian-aligned Republican nominees. The initiative was conducted in concert with Republican political consulting firm Silver Bullet and approved by the board. Opponents of the measure claimed that the party should be doing any such work with volunteers rather than hiring consultants. Pestana and other board supporters of the initiative responded that the party's volunteer base, heavily-disorganized and mostly elderly, would not be able to accomplish the task which involved significant door-to-door canvassing over long hours in the Las Vegas heat. [2] The most important race targeted in the initiative was that of libertarian Republican Kelly Hurst, who in the primary had narrowly bested the non-libertarian front-runner by a mere 9 votes to eke out the nomination. [8] [2] While Hurst was defeated in the general election, he garnered more than 8,000 votes than had been cast in the entire primary, only losing to his Democrat opponent by about 6% in a race that was previously assumed to be non-competitive. [9] [2] The initiative was thus deemed a success by most of the party's board members. [2]

Juan Martinez's City Council Race (2013)

Several months later, Pestana was named Campaign Manager for Juan A Martinez's 2013 city council race. [2] Though Martinez was ultimately not elected, Pestana's data background and methodologies were credited with helping to deliver significant efficiencies to the campaign, which went on to shape the direction of grassroots organizing in Nevada and other states in the years ahead. [2] [6] [10]

Leaving the Republican Party and Founding SOLO (2013 - 2014)

Shortly after the city council race, Pestana concluded that the Republican Party was mostly an incompetent joke and stuck on obsolete methodologies like the traditional 'precinct program.' [3] It was also excessively-difficult for him to mobilize the party's aging (and often libertarian-hostile) volunteer base into any kind of meaningful action different than what they had always known. Even the libertarian-aligned volunteers who had come into the party as a result of Ron Paul were difficult to organize efficiently, often wanting to do their own initiatives without following any kind of coordinated plan. [3] [2] Pestana therefore decided not run for re-election as Precinct Director of the Clark County Republican Party when his term expired in July 2013. In the days leading up to the official expiration of his term, he lampooned the party by e-mailing the rest of the board and proclaiming that he was appointing every registered Republican voter in Clark County --- a sum numbering in the several hundred thousands --- as a 'precinct captain.' This would have arguably made Pestana the most successful precinct program leader in the entire history of the Republican Party according to some of the traditionally-considered metrics. Though obviously intended as farcical, Pestana's proclamation was debatably procedurally-valid. It is unknown if it was ever officially reversed. [2]

Around that same time, in the summer of 2013, Pestana, Martinez, and several other Hispanic libertarians who had met as a result of Ron Paul's presidential campaign --- many of whom also worked on Martinez's city council race --- decided to found the Synergy Opportunity Liberty Organization (SOLO USA) to take direct grassroots action into their own hands. [1] [2] [11] While initially successful, the organization suffered a tremendous setback about one year later when Pestana moved out of state for work and Martinez took on a significant leadership role with The LIBRE Initiative. [2] [4] [11] [12] SOLO's operations essentially fizzled out shortly thereafter. [2] [11]

Pestana canceled his voter registration with the Republican Party shortly before leaving Nevada, and has not been formally involved with any political party in the years since. [2] [3]

Career and Life After Politics (2014 - Present)

Pestana has had a very successful professional life in the years since he left Nevada, working in data science, analytics, and AI across companies both large and small. [4] [2] [3] He is presently the head of Remix Institute --- a data-focused service company that he co-founded --- as well as co-founder and CTO of Legalmente AI, which provides AI-powered contract review. [4] [5] [3] He currently resides in Orlando, Florida. [2]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Nevada SilverFlume Business Entity Search, Entity Number E0216072014-7
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 (Gausling, 2023). Nick Gausling is the original author of this wiki article. His self-citations should only be construed as applying to the most recent draft that he personally wrote, and only on those specific things where he both personally wrote the content and cited himself.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 Unrecorded conversations between Doug Pestana and Nick Gausling between 2012 - 2023 (Gausling, 2023). Gausling is the original author of this wiki article. His self-citations should only be construed as applying to the most recent draft that he personally wrote, and only on those specific things where he both personally wrote the content and cited himself.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Doug Pestana's LinkedIn
  5. 5.0 5.1 Doug Pestana's Bio at Remix Institute
  6. 6.0 6.1 Unrecorded conversations between Juan Martinez and Nick Gausling between 2012 – 2023 (Gausling, 2023). Gausling is the original author of this wiki article. His self-citations should only be construed as applying to the most recent draft that he personally wrote, and only on those specific things where he both personally wrote the content and cited himself.
  7. See article and sources at Clark County Republican Party
  8. Unofficial Primary Election Results, Clark (2012)
  9. Official General Election Results, Clark (2012)
  10. See section and sources pertaining to Martinez's campaign at Juan A Martinez
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 See article and sources at Synergy Opportunity Liberty Organization (SOLO USA)
  12. See section and sources pertaining to Martinez's post-campaign political career at Juan A Martinez