Richard Reeves, a veteran lobbyist who founded his own firm before joining another that merged with GrayRobinson last year, now is leaving the firm, he told Florida Politics Friday.
“I wanted to be out on my own again,” he said in a phone interview. “The opportunity to work with Dean (Cannon) was tremendous. He’s a great mentor and leader and friend.”
Cannon, a former House Speaker (2010-12), formed Tallahassee’s Capitol Insight, where Reeves also worked. It then merged with GrayRobinson.
His departure “was a friendly decision,” added Reeves, 46. He says he will continue to work with Cannon on projects that benefit their mutual clients.
“Richard is a great friend and asset to us at GrayRobinson, so it is bittersweet to see him go,” said Cannon. “However, we are happy he is going to form his own firm and looking forward to collaborating with him in the future.”
Reeves’ new firm will be called RLR Consulting, and he plans to rent space in the downtown building near the Capitol co-owned by Jennifer Green‘s Liberty Partners of Tallahassee and Tampa-based lobbyist Ron Pierce‘s RSA Consulting.
Reeves, who became GrayRobinson’s Senior Director of Government Affairs in Tallahassee after the merger, began his career in Florida politics working for now-U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, during Nelson’s 1990 gubernatorial campaign, according to his bio.
In 1995, Reeves moved to Tallahassee to serve Nelson in his role as Insurance Commissioner, acting as an external affairs liaison, including board appointments and legislative affairs related to what is now Citizens Property Insurance Corp. and the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA).
Reeves later served as campaign director for Nelson’s 1998 re-election campaign. After the re-election, he went on to become Finance Director for Nelson’s successful U.S. Senate Campaign in 2000.
In 2001, Reeves formed his own firm and began lobbying, “specializing in education, workforce development, insurance, utilities and appropriation issues,” his bio says.
He also has served as a political consultant for political committees and candidates, including now-U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican, in 2004-05. Reeves was finance consultant during Rubio’s successful campaign to become Speaker of the Florida House.