Been sitting on this scoop for a while, but the news is now out and I can share that national PR powerhouse Mercury and lobby shop Floridian Partners are launching a joint venture: Mercury – Florida.
Their first hire? Obama for America – Florida’s Ashley Walker.
“By combining Mercury’s national public strategy platform with Floridian Partners’ deep state experience, insight and knowledge, Mercury Florida will be able to deliver immeasurable business value to the world’s leading companies and advocacy groups,” said Mercury CEO and founding partner Kieran Mahoney. “Being able to join forces with this talented team of professionals and with the addition of Ashley Walker, who helped create the largest grassroots operation that Florida has ever seen, is really exciting for Mercury Florida. The potent nature of the new firm’s leadership will strengthen our ability to address the wide spectrum of public policy issues that critically affect our clients.”
“Our close relationship with members of the Mercury team, whom we have known for many years and worked with on a number of client issues, will be an integral part of this new enterprise,” said Charlie Dudley, Managing Partner of Floridian Partners. “We greatly respect Mercury’s reputation as a top, national high-stakes public affairs firm, as well as their long-standing record for success. Floridian Partners is excited to join Mercury in expanding both our firms’ capabilities to service our client’s needs in Florida and across Mercury’s national and international footprint.”
With offices across Florida in Miami, Ft Lauderdale, Tampa and Tallahassee, Mercury Florida’s new instate capabilities will be co-led by Kieran Mahoney, who has been called one of the “best political strategists of his generation” by The New York Times. Over the course of 20 years, he has helped candidates across the country win elections at the local, state and federal levels. Mahoney served as a senior adviser to all three of Governor George Pataki’s campaigns, including as the top strategist and manager of Governor Pataki’s first gubernatorial campaign in 1994 that ended Democrat Mario Cuomo’s twelve-year reign. Kieran has also worked with former U.S. Senator Connie Mack.
Mercury Florida’s operations will also be led by Ashley Walker, who, as Florida State Director of Obama for America, oversaw all aspects of the 2012 campaign in one of the most competitive states in the presidential race. She also served as Florida State Director of Organizing for America, the Obama campaign’s offseason outfit which runs grassroots and social media operations in support of the President’s policies. Walker has served in multiple senior leadership roles including as the 2010 Coordinated Campaign Director and Deputy State Director for the 2008 Obama for America Florida campaign.
“The Sunshine State has played an undeniably pivotal role in the political world throughout the last few elections,” said Walker. “This venture will create and maintain a strong public affairs presence in all regions of Florida, which will be of great service to our clients. I look forward to taking my skills and knowledge of the State I call home to Mercury Florida.”
Mercury also announces the addition of Rick Wiley, Political Director of the Republican National Committee as a Managing Director with the firm, based out of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.
During his tenure at the RNC Rick also guided the ground game for the Romney/Ryan ticket, managing the campaign’s $178 million national grassroots budget.