Ramsey Farrar lobbying firm adds new principals

The state Capitol on March 16, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The lobbying firm headed by former state Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey and Russell Farrar has promoted Addison Russell, Matt Russell, and Ross Smith to principals. The outfit will now be rebranded as Ramsey, Farrar, Russell & Smith LLC.

Here’s the full release:

NASHVILLE — Nashville, Tennessee-based Ramsey, Farrar & Bates, LLC, announces that the firm is rebranding as Ramsey, Farrar, Russell & Smith. The group is also promoting Addison Russell, Matt Russell and Ross Smith to principals, joining founders Ron Ramsey and J. Russell Farrar.

Addison Russell joined the firm in 2016 after serving as research analyst for the Tennessee Senate’s State and Local Government Committee under Chairman Ken Yager, and as legislative director for the Department of Commerce and Insurance.

Prior to joining the firm in 2018, Matt Russell ran several campaigns across the state. He also served in multiple roles with the Tennessee Senate, including research analyst to the Transportation and Safety Committee under Chairman Jim Tracy.

Ross Smith, a skilled attorney and lobbyist, joined the firm in 2016 and has significant experience representing local governments and agencies.

“I am proud to introduce Addison, Matt and Ross as named principals,” says Farrar. “Each member of our governmental relations team brings valuable legislative experience, knowledge and capability to the work we do on behalf of our clients, and they have played an integral part in our success.”

Ramsey, Farrar, Russell & Smith represents clients in governmental relations, business development, crisis management, lobbying, public policy and regulatory solutions. The firm represents a multitude of clients covering issues such as health care, local government, nonprofits, education, business, procurement, retail, public safety and more.

“This transition is a better reflection of the breadth and depth of our group,” Ramsey says. “I have enjoyed working with Addison, Matt and Ross, and look forward to their future with the firm.”

Van Hilleary deregisters as lobbyist to take on Rose chief of staff role

Former U.S. Rep. Van Hilleary (R-Spring City), left, was named chief of staff for Rep.-elect John Rose (R-Cookeville), right. (Image credit: Rose’s office)

Former U.S. Rep. Van Hilleary, a former gubernatorial and U.S. Senate candidate in Tennessee, formally deregistered as a Washington lobbyist last week, Politico reported. Hilleary is now the chief of staff to newly elected Rep. John Rose (R-Cookeville).

Hilleary, formerly of Spring City, lobbied for six clients as a subcontractor to the Williams & Jensen firm. He terminated his registrations on Wednesday, Politico reported.

As The Tennessee Journal reported last month, Hilleary’s lobbying clients over the the past two years included the U.S.-Guatemala Business Council, Global Down Syndrome Foundation, News Media Alliance, Tennessee Valley Floating Homes Alliance, and Exxon Mobil Corp. More prickly, politically speaking, is Hilleary’s recent work on behalf of New American Economy, a group founded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to advocate for immigration reform.

Hilleary was registered to lobby on two Republican immigration bills that ultimately failed in the House in June. His client decried those measures (one of which was supported by President Donald Trump) as leaving “too many Dreamers in legal limbo” and threatening the economy by seeking drastic cuts in legal immigration.

Rose’s primary campaign against former Murfreesboro Judge Bob Corlew featured the Republican candidates trying to outdo each other on who could be the bigger supporter of Trump’s border wall and immigration rhetoric. “Stop the invasion,” demanded one of Rose’s online ads featuring images of menacing-looking gang members and a map suggesting the 6th District was about to be overrun.

Rose was sworn into office last week.