Boutique lobbying and consulting firm Oak Strategies is expanding into the Panhandle with the addition of former Rep. Jayer Williamson.
Oak Strategies is the firm founded by former Rep. Travis Cummings and former Sen. Rob Bradley, who chaired the House and Senate appropriations committees, respectively.
Bradley and Cummings, both Fleming Island Republicans, left office in 2020 due to term limits and launched Oak Strategies in 2021 as a side project — Bradley still works as an attorney at the Bradley Garrison & Komando law firm and Cummings is an executive at The Bailey Group, an employee benefits company.
Over the past two years, the pair have built a client roster that spans several industries. Their principals currently include contractors, physician groups, nonprofits, local law enforcement agencies and educational institutions.
Cummings told Florida Politics that Williamson was a natural fit for the firm’s first expansion, and not only because he got along well with the founding partners during the four years all three were in the Legislature.
“Northeast Florida and the Panhandle have a lot in common. There’s a lot of similarity as far as the logistics industry, the Navy and the ports. Both are also bordering other states and have a lot of rural areas,” Cummings said.
The industrial and cultural similarities led Bradley and Cummings to float the idea of joining the firm to Williamson after he announced he would not seek re-election. The Pace Republican represented HD 3 for six years and had he decided to run for a fourth term he would have been a shoo-in.
Instead, he decided to exit early to spend more time with his family and devote more attention to their electrical contracting business.
“It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve you in the Florida House. However, now is the time for me to come home, spend more time with my wife, commit to growing my business and give all my attention to the greatest title I have ever received, Daddy,” he said at the time.
Cummings said Williamson’s experience as a business owner, in addition to his years in Tallahassee and on the Santa Rosa County Commission, also makes him an ideal advocate for many of the types of clients that Oak Strategies caters to.
Former lawmakers are barred from lobbying state government until they have been out of office for two years, and the two-year clock started for Williamson on Election Day. Now that the sideline period is over for Cummings and Bradley, the two of them may make the trek back to the Capitol more often, but Oak Strategies plans to maintain a strong local focus going forward.
“Our goal is to grow responsibly and see how it goes,” Cummings said.