As covered on December 14, 2017 by:

By Laura Nahmias

Metropolitan Public Strategies, the political consulting firm founded by former Hotel Trades Council political director Neal Kwatra, is expanding to the Sunshine State and hiring one of the state’s prominent labor leaders to begin the firm’s operations in advance of the 2018 election cycle.

Andy Madtes, executive director of Florida AFSCME and the president of the South Florida Central Labor Council, will join the firm as its new Florida director, a spokesman said. AFSCME, with 110,000 members, is the state’s largest labor union.

The move marks the relatively young firm’s first expansion outside of New York State. In Florida, the firm is hoping to do much the same work it’s done in New York, where it’s run issue campaigns on raising the minimum wage and has for years been the lead consultant on the state Democratic party’s payroll as Democrats seek to pick up seats in statewide, legislative and 2018 congressional races.

The firm helped run Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2014 reelection campaign, and has maintained close ties with the governor.

Recent election results in Virginia and Alabama, where Democrats picked up unexpected victories in traditionally Republican districts, have raised hopes among Democrats that the party can retake the majority in both houses of Congress.

A spokesman for the firm noted that if Democrats were to pickup House seats held by Republicans in both New York and Florida, it would comprise a quarter of the seats the Democrats need to retake the majority. Democrats currently hold 194 seats, while Republicans have 241 seats.

“From the regressive Republican tax plan coming out of Washington to ensuring that the voices of working families are heard and followed in Tallahassee, there has never been a more important time to elect Democratic leaders who stand up for our rights,” Madtes told POLITICO in a statement.

Metropolitan Public Strategies
Phone: 212-348-3119