A new public affairs firm with a decidedly Republican bent is being formed.
The firm, Artemis-TN, will formally open its doors later this month and will be the home of a number of familiar faces from the fields of governmental affairs, public relations and political campaigns.
The venture will be affiliated with Artemis Strategies, a Washington, D.C. public affairs firm and will have offices in Nashville and Knoxville/Oak Ridge as well.
Artemis' founders include former Knox County commissioner and State Rep. Joe May as well as former Burson-Marsteller senior vice president, Congressional chief of staff and Harriman native John Davis. They will join former Deputy Gov. Wendell Moore as well as Tim Powers, the managing partner of Artemis Strategies in Washington and a former aide to Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.
Both Moore and May currently head their own Tennessee-based lobbying firms. Davis is based in Franklin.
Also partnered in the enterprise is Roane County native Joe Davis, former senior policy advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Energy as well as the past government affairs and communications director for NASA. Davis is a senior VP for Artemis Strategies in Washington.
Even though the principals each have extensive Republican connections stretching back more than 35 years, sources tell NashvillePost.com that they are in negotiations with several individuals with Democratic backgrounds.
Reached by phone, Davis said a formal launch announcement will come in the next couple of weeks. He cited the firm’s ability to serve both public affairs and lobbying clients in Washington as well as Tennessee as a key capability that most local firms do not possess.
Asked if there was a connection to the firm’s political leanings and the recent election that gave Republicans control of the state House and Senate as well as the governor’s office, Davis said, “That would be an accurate assumption. We realize the importance of strong bipartisan relationships and all of us have worked closely with Democrat members and staff in the past. That is why we will be including strategic alliances with Democrats as a part of this enterprise,” said Davis.
“But the fact is, the majority of legislators and new administration officials will be longtime Republican friends and political allies of at least one or all of the Republican principles in the firm. We believe that will be a significant advantage for our company and for our clients.”