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The answer to this question will guide all stages of our work for you. Our bipartisan lobbying team connects public and private institutions with policymakers at the highest levels of government, including the U.S. Congress, the White House, and federal agencies. We build comprehensive lobbying strategies aligned with your organization’s objectives and values and have decades of experience in consistently delivering successful outcomes.



We know the paths to success and can help you navigate pitfalls along the way. We pride ourselves on being deliberate yet nimble. The rapid pace of change in today's regulatory and political environment demands continuous situational awareness and the capacity to adjust at a moment's notice.



Whether you want to influence legislation, modify regulations, or retain what’s working well, we can help you navigate the volatile D.C. landscape and lead you to success.

Our firm is bipartisan, and we can connect your organization with key policymakers so you can develop meaningful relationships inside and outside government. Our team has deep experience in understanding the complex public policy that governs our given industries. We coordinate Congressional lobbying days, industry events, seminars, and briefings that position your organization in front of your target audience. Should your organization encounter heightened scrutiny from an agency of the Executive Branch or find yourself in the glare of a Congressional investigation, we can help you successfully traverse the process. 



Stay up-to-speed on the political issues and activities that may affect your priorities and your strategy with our customized systems for research, due diligence, and legislative tracking.

Knowledge is power. This maxim is particularly true in Washington, where policy and political changes can instantly upend an organization's long-term goals. It is critical that you have up-to-the-minute knowledge on policy trends in Washington and the capacity to distinguish between activity and action. Our customized research systems not only help you respond more effectively to pending Congressional or regulatory actions but also flag possible risks, analyze challenges, and uncover new opportunities. From ongoing, client-specific bill tracking to legislative and regulatory due diligence on an investment or transaction, our analysis can play a critical role in informing your decision-making and navigating the pathway to success.



Amplify your message by linking your priorities to those of other entities. Our blended coalitions incorporate thought leaders and potential supporters from both obvious and unexpected places.

To be truly heard, your message does not need to be louder — it must be stronger. We serve as your connector to partners, pinpointing the most effective allies, securing their support, and following through with a plan for a unified front that can take your initiative to the next level. These partners could include associations, individuals, philanthropies, researchers, think tanks, government agencies, investors, NGOs, and other coalitions and can often come from unexpected places. We think creatively about building coalitions, and by linking your priorities to those of other entities, your message can be strengthened and your reach extended.



In the noisy political din of Washington, a clear, compelling message speaks volumes. We craft your message so it resonates with policymakers and speaks their language.

Consistency is key. Through whatever channels we push your message, it will stay consistent, track closely with your ultimate goal, and most importantly, ring true for the players you are targeting. Depending on the exact need and utilizing the full legal and policy resources across our firm, we can develop draft legislation and amendments, highly effective position papers, report language, testimony, congressional correspondence, and regulatory comments. We work with a talented team of in-house graphic designers, copy editors, and printers to produce sophisticated, eye-catching publications, leave-behinds, digital documents, and videos.



Our comprehensive government relations and public policy plans are client-specific and highly-focused.

We serve not just as your guide to Washington but as your strategic partner. We build our strategic plans around the values of our clients, and those values are reflected in every step of our political initiatives. Our bipartisan team can custom-tailor an approach that refines your message, targets key decisionmakers, identifies potential allies, and proactively plans for opposition. Your strategic plan could include the identification and management of PAC proposals, the development of a targeted public relations campaign, or recommendations about which boards, associations, or philanthropic causes can best support your goals.

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BallotBoard: BallotBoard for period ending March 24, 2023

This weekly roundup of election news and notes is compiled for Thompson Coburn by The Ellis Insight


Monmouth Poll:  Monmouth University went into the field with a very small sample of US Republican primary voters (3/16-20; 521 US likely Republican primary voters; live interview & online) and again finds former President Donald Trump holding the advantage.  Like in many of the studies, however, Mr. Trump is below the majority support line (50%), and he and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are pulling away from the other tested individuals.

According to the Monmouth data, Mr. Trump leads Gov. DeSantis, 44-36%, with former Vice President Mike Pence and ex-UN Ambassador and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley trailing with 7 and 6% respectively.

The results are typical for what we are seeing elsewhere in national polling.  It is important to remember, however, that the national polls do not provide us with a clear indication as to who might prevail in a political contest where the results are decided with delegate votes earned in every state primary or caucus.  Based upon available state totals, Gov. DeSantis fares better in the more important state-by-state count.

Gov. Chris Sununu:  New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) is still not providing straight answers about whether he will run for President, seek re-election to an unprecedented fifth term as Governor, or retire from politics.  The Governor yesterday said he would decide later in the year if he would run for President.

Mr. Sununu’s main advantage is that he governs the first Republican primary state, and therefore can wait to a late date and still enter the race as a main competitor.  His hope would be to claim the New Hampshire primary, in a place where he is already extremely well known, and use such a victory to catapult him into the top tier of presidential candidates.  

This is a risky strategy that political history suggests will not be successful.  Even if not, however, Gov. Sununu could still pivot after the presidential race and run again for Governor since the New Hampshire primary is one of the nation’s latest, typically scheduled for mid-September.  

Additionally, the state is only one of two, Vermont being the other, that holds its Governors elections every two years.  While Gov. Sununu has won four elections, he is only in his seventh year of service.  Yet, he is only the second Governor in state history to win four consecutive statewide elections.  The other is Democrat John Lynch, who served from 2005-2013. 


Michigan:  Michigan School Board President Pamela Pugh (D), who has won two statewide elections to the state school board, a post that features eight-year terms, says she is considering entering the open Democratic primary for US Senate.  

At this point, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) is unopposed for the party nomination, but Ms. Pugh says she is concerned with the lack of African American representation throughout the state.  Even the congressional delegation has no black Democrats despite the two Detroit anchored congressional seats featuring plurality African American populations.  The only black in the congressional delegation, freshman Rep. John James, is a Republican.  

Washington:  Public Policy Polling, the regular survey research firm for the Northwest Progressive Institute, released their latest Washington statewide study (3/7-8; 874 WA registered voters; live interview & text) and tested the 2024 Senate race featuring four-term incumbent Maria Cantwell (D).  Paired with former Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R), who is reportedly considering the challenge, PPP finds Sen. Cantwell holding a comfortable 50-35% advantage.

The 2022 Washington Senate race was billed as a competitive contest between Sen. Patty Murray (D) and Republican Tiffany Smiley, but ended in a 57-43% result.  Since Republicans have a target-rich Senate cycle in 2024, it is doubtful the party will invest any serious resources toward a Cantwell challenge.

Wisconsin:  While Republicans are searching for a candidate to challenge two-term Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) in a race that could become competitive, one prominent Republican closed the door on a candidacy.  Former two-term Governor Scott Walker (R), who twice was elected Governor but defeated for a third term after not faring well in the 2016 presidential race, says he will not run for the Senate next year.  The two most talked about potential GOP candidates are Mr. Walker’s former Lt. Governor, Rebecca Kleefisch, and businessman Scott Mayer.


CA-41:  Lake Elsinore City Councilman Tim Sheridan (D), who challenged Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona) twice in the pre-redistricting and much more Republican 42nd District, announced this week that he will return to again run for the House in 2024.

In November, Rep. Calvert survived his second closest re-election effort, a 52-48% win over former federal prosecutor Will Rollins (D) in the new 41st District that is fully contained within Riverside County.  We could see action in the all-party jungle primary because Mr. Rollins is also considering waging a return re-match with the 16-term incumbent.

IA-3:  Freshman US Rep. Zach Nunn (R-Bondurant) was one of the few challengers to win a House seat in 2022 when he scored a 49.6 – 48.9% win over two-term Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Des Moines), a margin of just 2,145 votes from more than 315,000 ballots cast.  During the week, mental health therapist Tracy Limon (D) announced her congressional candidacy, the first individual to come forward for the 2024 election.  This could be a signal that former Rep. Axne will not return for a re-match, since the Democratic primary would likely be cleared for her if she desired to make a comeback.

MI-7:  Recently, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor (D) launched a congressional exploratory committee since Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) will vacate the 7th Congressional District seat in order to run for the state’s open Senate seat.  Typically, filing such a committee is the first step to announcing a candidacy, but in this case the opposite has occurred.  Clearly, Mayor Schor did not find the results for which he had hoped, and announced early in the week that he would not be a candidate for the 2024 open congressional seat.

No one has announced for the 7th District as yet.  It is presumed that 2022 Republican candidate Tom Barrett, now a former state Senator, will again make a run for the seat.  He lost 51-46% to Rep. Slotkin last November.

MN-2:  Navy veteran and businessman Tyler Kistner (R) has lost two close congressional races to Minnesota Rep. Angie Craig (D-Prior Lake), and confirms that he is considering launching another re-match in 2024.  The 2020 election proved his better showing, losing 48-46%.  In the redistricted 2nd District, which now stretches from the Wisconsin border southwest to include the southern St. Paul and Minneapolis suburbs, the result was not as close: 51-46%, in the Congresswoman’s favor.  A third Kistner run would not likely change the result since he received 46% in both of his elections.  Republicans might find more success in 2024 with a fresh candidate.

RI-1:  As we previously reported, the RI-1 special election will be scheduled when Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline (D-Providence) resigns from the House on June 1st.  This week, another four individuals announced their special Democratic primary candidacies already bringing the field’s total number to six.  

Those previously declaring are Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos (D) and state Sen. Sandra Cano (D-Pawtucket).  The latest to enter are state Rep. Nathan Biah (D-Providence), corporate Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) consultant Nick Autiello, financial consultant Allen Waters, and bus driver Mickeda Barnes.  The special election will effectively be decided in the Democratic primary from a seat that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+32.

WI-3:  The 3rd District of Wisconsin occupies the state’s southwestern region and while often voting Republican for President, the electorate returned Democratic Rep. Ron Kind (D-La Crosse) to office 13 consecutive times.  Mr. Kind retired in 2022, and the Democratic leadership basically conceded the seat to Republican Derrick Van Orden in that the national party spent no money to protect a seat their member held for 26 consecutive years.  In the end, Mr. Van Orden did win, but his victory margin fell below predictions in defeating then-state Sen. Brad Pfaff (D-La Crosse) 52-48%.  

It appears that Mr. Pfaff and two other former congressional candidates, La Crosse City Councilman Mark Neumann and small business owner Rebecca Cooke, are considering entering the 2024 congressional race.  All, however, are saying they won’t run unless they are assured of national outside party support.  


Utah:  Gov. Spencer Cox (R) announced that he will seek a second term next year, but more of the political attention centers around former Congressman and current Fox News commentator Jason Chaffetz (R).  There has been much speculation, and not denied, that Mr. Chaffetz is considering launching a Republican primary challenge against either Gov. Cox or Sen. Mitt Romney (R).  Therefore, it appears the 2024 Utah nomination convention and Republican primary will feature some meaningful political action.


Louisiana:  State Rep. Francis Thompson of Dehli is the longest serving state legislator in Louisiana state history, being first elected in 1975.  Late last week, he left the Democratic Party and became a Republican.  The move gives the Republicans a 2/3 majority in the House, and makes it easier to override Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’ vetoes.  The move won’t change many issue voting patterns, however, since Rep. Thompson has always been one of the more conservative legislators.  During his long tenure in the legislature, Mr. Thompson has served in both the House and Senate.


Chicago:  The Chicago municipal contest where voters have already defeated Mayor Lori Lightfoot continues to brandish polling showing a very tight runoff contest between former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson.  Several published polls disagree as to who is leading the race.  The latest Victory Research survey (3/20-23; 806 Chicago likely runoff voters) sees Mr. Vallas leading 46-44%.  IZQ Strategies (3/15-16; 680 Chicago likely runoff voters) arrives at the same 46-44% ballot test result, but they find Commissioner Johnson holding the slight edge.

Mr. Vallas has recently been able to cross racial lines by attracting endorsements from African American former officeholders Jesse White, who served six terms as the Illinois Secretary of State, and ex-Congressman Bobby Rush, who was in office for 30 years.  Crime is a big issue in the contest and could be defining.  The runoff is scheduled for April 4th.

Jacksonville, FL:  The Jacksonville Mayor’s primary was held during the week, and Democrat Donna Deegan topped the field of candidates with 39% of the vote.  Daniel Davis (R), the local Chamber of Commerce CEO, was second with 25%.  Since neither candidate received majority support, the two will advance to a May 16th runoff election.  Combined, Republican candidates received 51% of the vote compared to the combined Democratic percentage of 48.  Republican incumbent Lenny Curry is ineligible to seek a third term.

New Orleans:  The move to force a recall vote against Crescent City Mayor LaToya Cantrell (D) came to an abrupt end at the petition signature deadline.  The recall organization fell woefully short of recruiting the 45,000 registered voter signatures necessary to force a confirmation election.  The Cantrell opposition group was only able to qualify approximately 27,000 signatures, or just 60% of the required number.  The next regular mayoral election is scheduled for 2025.

Discretionary Spending

Federal government spending can be broken down into two broad categories: mandatory and discretionary. Mandatory spending does not require an annual vote by Congress and is dictated by prior law. Discretionary spending, however, is subject to the annual appropriations process and includes funding for essential federal programs like national defense, social services, highways, and foreign aid, to name just a few.