For the first time since he left the governor's office a decade ago, Jeb Bush is returning to Tallahassee, this time as a strategic consultant to a law firm with a major lobbying presence in the Capitol.
Bush and his Rolodex are joining Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney -- not as a lobbyist, but to drum up business for the firm, particularly in South Florida where the former governor lives and where the firm wants to expand its presence.
“There are very few people that have the breadth of experience that Gov. Bush has, both in the public and private sector," Buchanan CEO Joseph Dougherty said in a statement. "We believe his insight will be a tremendous asset to our attorneys and clients.”
Buchanan's Tallahassee clients include the Lee Memorial Health Care System, Fort Myers, U.S. Sugar, DraftKings, FanDuel, Universal, State Farm and the Florida League of Cities.
In a statement provided by the firm, Bush said: "I believe that putting my knowledge and experience together with Buchanan’s professional acumen will help Buchanan’s clients grow and prosper.”
Bush's new venture ia a professional reunion of sorts. Buchanan's Florida government relations practice is headed by Mac Stipanovich, a former Bush advisor who supported Bush's unsuccessful candidacy for president in 2016, and the firm also includes Mike Harrell, a personal friend and former golfing partner of the governor's. Jim Magill, a former Bush legislative affairs director to Gov. Bush, is at the firm, as is former Democratic state Rep. Keith Arnold of Fort Myers. Republican Rep. Chris Sprowls of Palm Harbor is an attorney in the firm's Tampa office.
Even after losing to Donald Trump in the Republican primary cycle, Bush remains a respected voice in national politics. He recently penned this op-ed piece for The Wall Street Journal in which he called for term limits for members of Congress, a balanced budget amendment and new limits on federal government powers.
"The GOP has no excuse for failure," Bush wrote. "We are in charge of both the executive and legislative branches in Washington, and we dominate the states like never before. We have the power to set the agenda. ... This is our chance to contrast our approach, which trusts people to make good choices, with the failed Democratic and progressive top-down approach, which prefers government to decide almost everything."
Here's the release, as provided by BIR's corporate office:
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney Announces Strategic Affiliation with Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush to Provide Strategic Consulting Services to Clients
Pittsburgh, PA – December 1, 2016 – Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney announced today a strategic affiliation with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush through his consulting firm Jeb Bush & Associates. Under the terms of the relationship, Bush will act as a strategic consultant to the firm and its clients.
“This move adds to our firm’s distinguished reputation as a leader in providing strategic advice on government, regulatory and business matters,” said Buchanan CEO Joseph Dougherty. “There are very few people that have the breadth of experience that Governor Bush has both in the public and private sector. We believe his insight will be a tremendous asset to our attorneys and clients.”
“Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney is an outstanding advisor to its clients, and I look forward to collaborating with them,” said Bush. “We live in a complex business and political environment, and I believe that putting my knowledge and experience together with Buchanan’s professional acumen will help Buchanan’s clients grow and prosper.”
The strategic affiliation with Bush will focus most of its efforts in Florida where Bush served two terms as Governor.
"Those of us who have had the pleasure of working with the Governor in the past now have the opportunity to do so again, and those who haven't can look forward to a truly rewarding experience. This is an exciting development for the firm and for our clients, "said Mac Stipanovich, Chair of Buchanan’s Florida Government Relations practice and longtime friend and advisor to the Governor.
Bush has a long track record of success both in public service and in the private sector. He began his career working in various roles at Texas Commerce Bank, eventually moving to Florida and acting as the state’s Secretary of Commerce from 1987 to 1988. After his successful run as Governor, he has returned to the private sector with Jeb Bush & Associates. He has been active in the non-profit space forming the Foundation for Florida’s Future, a not-for-profit public policy organization, and the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a not-for-profit charitable organization. He also previously served as the Chairman of the Board for the National Constitution Center.
About the Firm
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC brings true partnership to our clients. With nearly 500 attorneys and government relations professionals in 18 offices in the United States, we have formalized a model for consistently delivering the service attributes our clients most value. A nationally recognized firm, we provide a wide range of services in the areas of health care, financial services and banking, litigation, intellectual property, labor and employment, real estate, corporate and business law, tax, energy, and government relations. For more information, visit www.bipc.com