Jeff Larson, an influential national Republican strategist based in St. Paul, has sold off his stake in the GOP fundraising and consulting firm FLS Connect. But the decision to walk away from the company that he founded more than a decade ago doesn’t mean that Larson is stepping back from electoral politics.
“I wanted to do something different in politics and I’m not exactly sure what that will be,” Larson tells PIM. “But I feel like a clean break from FLS Connect was the best way to do that.”
Larson started FLS Connect in 1999 along with fellow GOP strategists Tony Feather and Thomas Synhorst. All three partners carry impressive political resumes. Feather was the political director for George W. Bush‘s 2000 presidential campaign. Synhorst’s national political experience dates back to Bob Dole‘s 1988 presidential bid. FLS Connect now has more than 350 employees and clients across the country.
Larson has been a longtime political confidante of former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman. His name surfaced in headlines during the 2008 Senate contest when it was revealed that Coleman was renting a Capitol Hill apartment from him for just $600. Larson was also a crucial figure in bringing the 2008 Republican National Convention to St. Paul.
In addition, the GOP strategist played a key role in the 2010 governor’s race that is yet to be definitively settled. Larson was chair of the independent political group Minnesota Future, which spent more than $1.2 million in order to boost GOP nominee Tom Emmer’s campaign. Almost all of that money came from the Republican Governors Association.
Larson isn’t sure exactly what direction his next political venture will take, but he’s interested in working on ways to boost the GOP’s ground game. “I’ve started to just talk to a lot of people about what that might look like,” he says, “but I don’t have anything concrete.”