Mercury Expands Illinois Presence With The Additions Of Nick Bustos And Michael Morthland

CHICAGO (May 5, 2023) – Mercury, a leading global, bipartisan public strategy firm, has hired two leading names in Illinois politics, Nick Bustos and Michael Morthland. These additions will strengthen Mercury’s presence and expertise in the Midwest.

Nick Bustos joins Mercury with over a decade of experience in politics, state government, business development, public relations, marketing, and communications. Before joining Mercury, Nick served as a Vice President of Marketing in the agriculture manufacturing industry, where he oversaw marketing, communications, and reputation management. He is known for leveraging out-of-the box, multi-channel marketing strategies to deliver 8-figure revenue growth and elevate his company’s profile to a nationally recognized, well-respected brand.

Prior to working in the private sector, Nick spent several years in state government, working in various capacities for the Illinois Governor and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. He has also worked in or advised various political campaigns at the local, state, and federal levels.

Michael Morthland joined Mercury’s Illinois office after spending nearly a decade at top levels of Illinois Executive and Legislative Government, serving as Assistant Counsel to the Illinois Speaker of the House of Representatives and Pritzker Administration.

As Assistant Counsel to the speaker, Michael was charged with writing, negotiating and defending bills through the legislative process including on complicated and sensitive subjects of labor, pharmacy benefit managers and prescription drug supply chain, insurance, $15 minimum wage, environment and energy, and transportation and infrastructure. In 2020, Michael joined the Governor Pritzker Administration as Chief of Staff at the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.  While at IDFPR, Michael composed strategies around building the new adult use cannabis infrastructure, fintech oversight and regulation, communications, and professional regulation. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022, Michael joined the Department of Public Health as Deputy Chief of Staff, overseeing efforts around strategic building and communications, government relations, crisis management and communication, medical cannabis, workforce development, strategic procurement, and systems management and construction.

Both Nick and Michael were born, raised and educated in Illinois and understand Midwestern values and politics. They also both come from a long line of public servants, providing first-hand knowledge and experience with how government works, how to make connections, nurture relationships, find solutions to complex problems, and win.

Former Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., leads Mercury’s team in Illinois. “Nick Bustos brings not only a deep family background in Midwestern politics, agriculture and business, but also a hands-on knowledge of that trio of key issue areas. Michael Morthland, with his multigenerational roots in Illinois, law and government, brings the practical know-how to solve issues for anyone needing to navigate the complexity of today’s world. Our growing Mercury team stands ready to take on challenges from any direction.”


About Mercury 

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. In addition to Illinois, the firm has U.S. offices in Washington, D.C., New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Montana, Texas and South Carolina. 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, language strategy, global health strategy and change management. As the largest group of communications professionals in the world, our employees provide 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 Communications Consultancy Network, a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC).



John Gallagher

[email protected]

(212) 681-1380