Who says S.C. Republicans and Democrats can't get along?
Long-time Republican strategist Warren Tompkins is partnering with two former S.C. House members, including Democrat Boyd Brown – a bombastic former Fairfield County state representative and Democratic national committeeman known for his sharp-tongued outbursts.
Republican Michael Thompson also is part of the new firm. Thompson represented Anderson in the Legislature for a decade before moving to Washington, D.C., where he raised money for congressional Republicans.
Brown has been working in real estate and development since he left the Legislature in 2012. He and Thompson launched a lobbying firm earlier this year, working for some local government clients.
Now, the duo is merging with Tompkins' veteran lobbying operation.
Tompkins’ resume in politics and government relations is long.
He worked for S.C. GOP father-figures Strom Thurmond and Carroll Campbell and more recent leaders, U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint. He also worked on the presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Mitt Romney.
Most recently, Tompkins ran a Super PAC for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential efforts. He now is helping the Florida Republican in his Senate re-election bid.
Tompkins said he looks forward to building the firm with his new partners after running a loner operation under the State House dome.
Tompkins is a family friend of the Browns. Boyd Brown’s grandfather was a legislator, lobbyist and “State House legend,” who Tompkins said helped him early in his career.
“You can't stay stagnant in politics or lobbying or anything else,” Tompkins said of his new venture. “You have to be prepared to adjust and to adapt and work toward the future. I'm closing in on the end of my career. They're at the beginning of their career.”
The decision is a no-brainer for Boyd. “You go down the list and the experience speaks for itself,” he said of Tompkins.
But The Buzz had to ask: What is Tompkins getting out of the merger?
“Two younger” partners, Brown replied, quickly correcting himself: “Not saying Warren is old by any stretch of the imagination.”
The new firm’s title also confirms the pecking order: Tompkins, Thompson and Brown.
“I defaulted to age and gray hair, not to good looks,” Brown said.
Told of the shade the braggadocios Brown already is throwing his way, Tompkins laughed.
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."