Ashley Walker joins, helps lead new public affairs consultancy

Sun Sentinel

Ashley Walker, the Fort Lauderdale political strategist who ran President Barack Obama’s re-election effort in Florida, is joining and will help lead a new public affairs consulting form.

Walker’s had wins and losses in recent years, but nothing bigger than winning the state that looked to many as if it might be out of reach.

As the Florida director of Obama for America, she oversaw all aspects of the 2012 campaign in the state. She had been Florida state director of Organizing for America, which the Obama campaign used to organize between the 2008 and 2012 campaigns. In 2008, she was the Obama campaign’s deputy state director.

Walker is a former staffer for U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., and worked on his presidential campaign. She also managed the successful 2006 Florida state Senate campaign for political newcomer Jeremy Ring of Parkland.

The new organization is a combination of Mercury, a national public policy firm, and Floridian Partners, a state consulting and lobbying firm.

Called Mercury Florida, it will be led by Walker and Kieran Mahoney, founding partner of Mercury, and Walker.

“Both firms have some of the best and brightest strategists in politics and I am thrilled about this opportunity to work with them. With Mercury Florida, I will have the opportunity to continue working with campaigns at the state and national level while expanding my client base to businesses, trade associations, non-profits and others,” she said via email.

 “The Sunshine State has played an undeniably pivotal role in the political world throughout the last few elections. This bipartisan venture will create and maintain a strong public affairs presence in all regions of Florida,” Walker said in a statement.

Mercury Florida will have offices in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Tampa and Tallahassee.

Floridian Partners and Mercury will exist separately, and Mercury Florida is a joint venture. Walker said Mercury Florida would work with businesses, non-profits, campaigns and trade associations.

 “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,” Mahoney said in a statement.

“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 bipartisan 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,” he said.

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