Top Campaign Strategist Katon Dawson to Join Mercury in Columbia, Legal Expert Butch Bowers to Advise Firm as Of Counsel
Mercury, a leading global, bipartisan public strategy firm, announced the addition of political strategist Katon Dawson to the company’s first office in South Carolina. Dawson, who served as Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party for seven years, joins Mercury as a Managing Director. Legal expert Karl “Butch” Bowers Jr. also joins as Of Counsel. Both will be based in the state capital of Columbia, SC.
“We are thrilled to welcome Katon and Butch to the Mercury team, and formally establish roots in South Carolina,” said Mercury CEO Kieran Mahoney. “The addition of Katon’s political expertise and Butch’s counsel, combined with our DC senior leaders with deep connections to the Palmetto State, creates a second to none channel in public affairs and policy efforts.”
Bowers and Dawson join Mercury DC Managing Directors Al Simpson and Stephen Aaron to comprise the firm’s South Carolina contingent.
“With their unique combination of experience in politics, government affairs and litigation, Butch and Katon’s authentic and seasoned experience will be a tremendous asset for our clients in South Carolina and nationwide,” said Simpson.
“It’s exciting to team up with such experienced operatives in South Carolina, a state renowned for its political talent. By establishing this robust pipeline between South Carolina and Washington DC, Mercury is creating a unique asset that connects the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, in addition to state and federal operations,” said Aaron.
Dubbed “a tough-as-nails southern warrior” by Washington Times Columnist Donald Lambro, Dawson served at the helm of the South Carolina Republican Party through four election cycles. Under his leadership, the party gained a U.S. Senate seat, defeated a Democrat governor, and picked up two statewide constitutional offices.
Dawson has deep ties with both of South Carolina’s sitting U.S. Senators. Dawson played a leading role in Senator Lindsey Graham’s campaign in 2002, co-chaired his 2008 reelection campaign and served as Chairman for his 2014 Super PAC. Additionally, Dawson recruited Tim Scott in 2010, the first African-American elected to Congress in South Carolina since Reconstruction. Dawson served as Senior Political Advisor for Governor Nikki Haley’s campaign and co-chairman of her inaugural committee. He also served on the 2011 transition teams for 5 newly elected statewide officials.
“I am honored to join Mercury’s talent powerhouse, whose presence has grown strongly here in South Carolina in the last year,” said Dawson. “There is no comparable public affairs operation in the state of South Carolina with such a sophisticated suite of services. Introducing a firm like Mercury with a global footprint is a game changer.”
Dawson has earned extensive media coverage across local, statewide and national print and television. He is a regular guest for political commentary across the three major cable news networks. Dawson opened Dawson Public Affairs in 2009, a full service consulting, public policy, political campaign and corporate issues firm.
Bowers has served as counsel for numerous political leaders, including gubernatorial candidates and governors in South and North Carolina. He has also served as Special Counsel for Voting Matters at the United State Department of Justice, and as Chairman of the South Carolina State Election Commission. Bowers currently serves as the State Judge Advocate for the South Carolina National Guard. In addition, Bowers is a practicing attorney and founder of the Bowers Law Office in Columbia, SC; in private practice, he focuses on issues at the intersection of law, politics and public policy, with extensive experience representing senior public officials and businesses in high-visibility legal matters.
“I am eager to offer my legal and political knowledge to Mercury,” said Bowers. “I have been fortunate to represent public officials at the highest levels of state government, and I look forward to using this experience to help Mercury’s clients both within South Carolina and across the country.”
Columbia marks the third Mercury office opened in 2018, following the company’s latest expansions in Iowa and Philadelphia. Mercury’s national presence includes offices in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Florida, California, Tennessee and Montana.
Mercury is a high-stakes, bipartisan public strategy firm. The firm provides a comprehensive suite of services that includes federal government relations, international affairs, digital influence, public opinion research, media strategy and a bipartisan grassroots mobilization network in all 50 states. Our firm is not just led by top talent — we distinguish ourselves by having senior talent deeply engaged in each project from start to finish, a promise we keep to clients. The firm has an established global presence, with U.S. offices in Washington, DC, New York, California, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Tennessee, as well as international offices in London and Mexico City. Mercury is a part of the Omnicom Public Relations Group.
About Omnicom Public Relations Group
Omnicom Public Relations Group is a global collective of three of the top global public relations agencies worldwide and specialist agencies in areas including public affairs, marketing to women, fashion, public health and corporate social responsibility. It encompasses more than 6,000 public relations professionals in more than 330 offices worldwide who provide their expertise to companies, government agencies, NGOs and nonprofits across a wide range of industries. Omnicom Public Relations Group delivers for clients through a relentless focus on talent, continuous pursuit of innovation and a culture steeped in collaboration. Omnicom Public Relations Group is part of the DAS Group of Companies, a division of Omnicom Group Inc. that includes more than 200 companies in a wide range of marketing disciplines including advertising, public relations, healthcare, customer relationship management, events, promotional marketing, branding and research.