Longtime Georgia political operative Rob Simms is leaving the RNCC after two terms (the first as Political Director, the most recent as Executive Director) to set up a political consulting practice with Mike Shields. Politico Playbook has the details:
Mike Shields and Rob Simms, two of D.C.’s top GOP operatives, are starting Convergence Media, a “political strategy, public affairs, creative, online, television digital agency,” Shields said. Shields most recently ran American Action Network and the Congressional Leadership Fund, organizations that support House Republicans. Before that, Shields was chief of staff of the Republican National Committee under Reince Priebus, who is now the incoming White House chief of staff.
Simms has spent the last four years in top positions at the NRCC — he was the executive director this cycle, and the political director the cycle before. The pair are not going to lobby but plan to have corporate and political clients. FUN FACT: Shields and Simms were fraternity brothers at George Mason and first talked about starting their own firm in 1994.
WHY THIS MAKES SENSE: They both have both run massive political organizations and have worked in government. Shields is close to Priebus, and will be able to translate what the White House is up to. The firm’s website:
This makes for what could be an interesting confluence of events. Simms has spent plenty of time in the Peach State working as a political operative. One of his past clients is Karen Handel, who is now trying to decide if she wants to make a run for the 6th district seat being vacated by Tom Price. It could be that Simms’s decision makes it easier for Handel to formally decide to run.