AG Slatery: Exit of communications director ‘a bummer for our office’

Press release from Tennessee Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III today announced Harlow Sumerford, Director of Communications, will leave the Attorney General’s Office to join the communications team at HCA Healthcare as Manager of Media Relations.

“Putting aside the normal clichés, this news, plain and simple, is a bummer for our Office,” General Slatery said. “We are happy for Harlow and we know he will make a mark wherever he goes. But we are losing a consummate professional, a person who can handle well the nuances of media relations and timely articulate a message, and most important of all, a friend.”

As Director of Communications, Sumerford served as the communications lead and primary spokesperson for the Attorney General and the Office. His responsibilities included management of internal and external communications, speech writing, and multiple special projects.

“It is hard to describe how much I have enjoyed working with General Slatery and the incredible group of attorneys and staff in this office,” Sumerford said. “I am better for it – both personally and professionally. I am grateful to General Slatery and honored to have served in what I believe to be the finest public law office in the country.”

Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office in 2015, Sumerford served as East Tennessee Field Director for Governor Bill Haslam. He has also worked on the federal level, serving as Deputy Press Secretary for U.S. Representative John J. Duncan, Jr. Sumerford began his career as a journalist, including as a political reporter for WATE 6 News in Knoxville.

Sumerford, his wife Betsy, and daughter Andrews live in Nashville and are members of Christ Presbyterian Church.

Sumerford’s last day with the Attorney General’s Office will be February 7th.

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