Zephyr Government Strategies | Politics

Illinois politics can be contentious, complicated, or downright ugly, but we are prepared for every eventuality. Zephyr Government Strategies understands that politics across every level of government in the state can have massive implications for your business and your operations. Just like your organization, politics underpins every aspect of our business. Measured and strategic in our approach, with decades of political experience in running statewide and local campaigns, we remain focused on building bipartisan relationships and coalitions to deliver results and achieve wins for our clients.

Our Political Expertise

With Zephyr, you’re guaranteed to have decades of seasoned political experience on your side. We have an extensive history with political work at every level, from working with local political movements here in Illinois to working with national political leaders in Washington, DC. This extensive knowledge provides us with valuable insight about how each level of government interacts with the others as it relates to your interests, affording Zephyr a unique ability to understand how to stay ahead of the curve in politics and understand how to interpret political developments with unique nuance and thoroughness. 

 How Zephyr Government Strategies Can Help Your Organization

Constantly immersed deep in Illinois politics, we excel at understanding how political developments can shape the landscape of your industry and disrupt your operations. Illinois has seen a transformative couple of years recently, with extensive reforms passed in multiple fields, from comprehensive criminal justice reform and ethics overhauls to pioneering some of the most progressive energy and financial policy in the nation. The state’s regulatory and policy world is rapidly changing, and our expertise will help you make sense of all the changes across Illinois so you know how to adapt and contribute to the future of doing business in the state.

Zephyr’s wide-ranging relationships with leaders across every sphere of politics is an invaluable tool in our arsenal. Politics is messy and complicated, and you need connections everywhere if you are to excel where others may be lost in the chaos. We have cultivated fruitful relationships with leaders across different industries, different levels of government, different sides of the aisle, and different political philosophies. Politics demands building coalitions, and we are professional coalition builders. 

Regardless of your interests and your industry, we can find well-respected leaders in government receptive to your priorities and interested in helping you form a more beneficial partnership with the public sphere. Our reputation and relationships allow us to tap into any sphere of Illinois politics, get wins for our clients and deliver meaningful, impactful results. From advising on political and community giving to mapping relationships between various stakeholders, Zephyr can help with all of your organization’s political needs. Please get in touch with us today. 


How does politics relate to lobbying?

▪ Politics underpins the entirety of the state’s policymaking process. Members come and go through retirements, move to new elected or appointed positions, opt not to run again, or lose their re-election races. One election can shift the whole political landscape and change what is perceived as possible. This is why developing relationships with a wide array of candidates during primary and general election seasons is vital to successful lobbying.

How does Zephyr leverage its political expertise for its clients?

▪ Elections have consequences, and as the political attitude shifts following electoral changes, we form relationships with candidates and newly-elected members. With a keen political sensibility honed over decades, Zephyr can offer strategic political advice when it comes to political contributions and your organization’s electoral engagement approach. With Zephyr, you can expect around-the-clock political coverage, as we constantly keep track of the political winds in Illinois and around the country to keep you one step ahead of any important developments. Zephyr also regularly delivers nuanced, expert political analysis for our clients; for example, we curate client-specific end-of-the-year reports whenever the legislative session is over, complete with a crucial analysis of all the new developments and laws and an intelligent extrapolation for what to expect in the future for our clients’ industries. Among other political projects, we also provide detailed election summary reports and make sure to be among the first people to reach out to your organization about any important political stories.

Michael Cassidy Founder and Principal

Before launching Zephyr, Michael spent more than a decade as Senior Vice President for State Government Affairs at McGuireWoods Consulting, where he counseled a diverse roster of clients, helping them define and achieve a wide range of objectives at all levels of government. In addition to his state government affairs work, Michael led the firm’s national multi-state practice, helping clients in statehouses across the country. Whether developing and executing a stakeholder engagement strategy, finding and managing teams of contract lobbyists or managing new market entry, Michael has an extensive network across the country that can help clients reach their goals.

Michael began his career as a senior legislative staffer for former Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, where he gained an appreciation for legislative dynamics, including balancing the interests of various constituencies, driving momentum by forming creative coalitions, and effectively leveraging media attention to build critical support for the caucus and its initiatives.

“We realize that dealing with government at all levels can be scary, but so is being trapped in the old school status quo. Zephyr helps our clients navigate the government maze with confidence by finding the right exit ramp and by promoting mutual wins. While valuable outcomes don’t often come easily, we believe that clear thinking and hard work is the shortest distance between two points.“

Jeremy Duffee Executive Vice President

Prior to joining Zephyr, Jeremy spent nearly half a decade working for McGuireWoods Consulting where he managed the office’s legislative tracking platform and provided analysis of all pending legislation and regulation at the statehouse and Chicago City Council. In addition, Jeremy assisted with the office’s business development initiatives through the drafting of proposals and client contracts.

Prior to joining McGuireWoods Consulting, Jeremy worked as an account executive at Resolute Consulting, an independent national public affairs and strategic communications firm. In that role, he assisted with the formulation of communications and outreach strategies for Resolute clients in the healthcare, energy, financial services, and real estate sectors. He also worked closely with the firm’s partners and other senior leadership on business development and marketing initiatives.

In addition to his experience at Resolute, Jeremy worked as field organizer on a Chicago aldermanic race.

Zephyr Recognition

April 14, 2021


June 8, 2019

Teamwork can make things happen

September 28, 2011

Good lobbyists have to be in the Capitol every day