Chris Sautter, founder and president of Sautter Communications & Films, is a nationally recognized political media strategist, award-winning documentary filmmaker, election attorney, and university professor. He is also the national expert in election recounts. Sautter has advised and produced media for dozens of Democratic candidates throughout the US, including Obama’s first campaign ads, and spots for the First American Education Project, a coalition of West Coast Native American tribes that helped elect U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA); for EMILY’s List, and for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Sautter has won multiple Pollie Awards for creative excellence in political spots.
Sautter cowrote The Recount Primer (1994), considered the definitive guide to election disputes. He worked on Al Gore's 2000 Florida presidential recount, served as a lead attorney in Al Franken’s U.S. Senate 2008-9 recount in Minnesota, winning high public praise, and has played a prominent role as lawyer and consultant in virtually every other major recount in the country for 30 years, including the 1989 Virginia Governor Doug Wilder recount, the 1998 Senator Harry Reid recount, and the 1984-85 recount in Indiana’s “Bloody 8th” – ultimately decided by 4 votes, the closest U.S. House race in history.
Sautter has also directed and produced two award-winning feature length documentary films, including The King of Steeltown: Hardball Politics in the Heartland (2001), an off-beat look at old-style machine politics in East Chicago, Indiana, that won “Best Political Documentary” at the New York International Independent Film Festival. Six public officials were sent to federal prison for actions documented in Sautter’s film.
Sautter also served as a senior staff member on the presidential campaigns of Bob Kerrey and Paul Simon. He was the late Congressman Frank McCloskey’s (D-IN) top political aide and campaign manager in 1986 when McCloskey’s race was the number one congressional race in the country.
Sautter is currently an Adjunct Professor at American University, where he teaches courses on constitutional and election law, and a course entitled “The Recount Process” at American University’s Campaign Management Institute—the first college course for credit on election recounts in the country.