Cha-ching! The Southern Group rakes in veteran fundraiser Jon Stewart

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'Jon Stewart is talented and resourceful, a dynamic force in fundraising and consulting.'

Jon Stewart’s 10-year career in political fundraising has been a “daily show” of raising money and building a deep list of contacts, primarily focused on the Tampa area but stretching across the state. Now, he’ll be tapping into that list in a different way — as a new Southern Group lobbyist for the firm’s Tampa Bay office.

After being courted by Florida’s top lobby shops, Stewart’s first day with The Southern Group is this week, and he will immediately dive into Tampa local policy and government relations.

Stewart has raised millions of dollars for candidates ranging from the presidential and gubernatorial races to Tampa City Council contests. He won some and he lost some, but even in the ones where his candidate didn’t come out on top, nobody was heard saying: “We just didn’t raise enough money.”

“We are so pleased that Jon is joining The Southern Group,” said Seth McKeel, former state Representative and managing partner of The Southern Group’s Tampa Bay office. “I’ve seen Jon become a true force in the Tampa and Hillsborough political scene and his prodigious list of contacts will serve him well in this new position,” McKeel said.

“Fundraisers make great lobbyists because they’ve mastered the art of relationships,” McKeel said. “That mastery translates to powerfully delivering results for our clients.”

Stewart was a Florida Politics Top 30 Under 30 honoree in 2016 and has been making waves since. His most recent fundraising efforts were for successful Tampa City Council candidate Alan Clendenin and Sen. Shevrin Jones.

“Jon Stewart is talented and resourceful, a dynamic force in fundraising and consulting,” Clendenin said. “His ability to build strong relationships and strategic insight were invaluable in my organization. I’m confident as a member of the Southern Group Team, he’ll help lead his clients to success.”

Jon’s fundraising success has been demonstrated in Hillsborough County as well after he helped Hillsborough County Commissioner Harry Cohen win and then re-win his seat.

“Collaborating with Jon Stewart on multiple campaigns has been a true pleasure. His strategic prowess and unwavering commitment have been invaluable,” Cohen said. “Jon’s ability to build meaningful connections is an asset, and I look forward to seeing his continued success.”

Stewart brings expertise in environmental policy — he earned his degree in that field of study from the University of South Florida in Tampa. That experience should come in handy for clients trying to navigate the tricky “smart growth” climate in Tampa.

“It’s an honor to be joining The Southern Group,” Stewart said. “I am looking forward to continuing to work with the incredible leaders in the Tampa Bay area.

Staff Reports


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