Former vice mayor gets new job

Departure from downtown law firm marks end of its lobbying practice

Jay West, a three-term Metro Council member and former vice mayor of Nashville, has picked up his lobbying operation and joined forces with Farris Mathews Bobango Public Strategies Group. West had previously operated out the lobbying arm of the Bone McAllester Norton law firm.

Chuck Welch, managing partner of Farris Mathews Bobango Public Strategies Group, said West will officialy  join the firm as a partner on July 1. "We believe Jay brings a wealth of experience to our firm," said Welch. "His experience at the local, state and federal level enhances our ability to serve out clients better."

A veteran lobbyist on Capitol Hill, West represents such interests as the Home Builders Association of Tennessee, Tennessee Association of Mortgage Brokers, Associated General Contractors of Tennessee, Tennessee Association of Professional Surveyors, Tennessee Nursery and Landscape Association and the Tennessee Athletic Trainers Society. He is a former president of the Tennessee Society of Association Executives and was vice president of the Tennessee Municipal League. A son of the late Nashville Mayor Ben West, he is a graduate of Belmont University and the Nashville School of Law.

The departure of West from Bone McAllester also signals the end of its full-time lobbying shop. West's lobbying co-workers at the firm, Jennifer Bragg and Hope Jackson, are moving over to work for the Home Builders Association of Tennessee.

Although its lobbying arm has closed, don't count on the firm to stay out of politics. Charles Robert Bone, a partner in the firm, was finance director of Congressman Harold Ford, Jr.'s U.S. Senate bid and remains prominent in Democratic circles as well as being a close ally of West Tennessee attorney Houston Gordon, a former U.S. Senate candidate and state Democratic party chair. Stephen Zralek, also a partner, serves as treasurer for Metro Councilman David Briley's mayoral bid.