The Bernstein Shur Group The Bernstein Shur Group
Practices & Industries Served

The Bernstein Shur Group

Always on message.

A subsidiary of Bernstein Shur, The Bernstein Shur Group provides public affairs, communications, and political consulting services to clients across northern New England. With offices in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, the group has the experience to lead multistate efforts and the expertise to develop comprehensive campaigns to meet the broad needs of our clients.

We provide support in crisis communications and public relations, political campaigns and consulting, and government relations, working seamlessly with Bernstein Shur attorneys.

Crisis Communications & Public Relations

No matter what industry you’re in, and how careful you are, you could find yourself facing a complicated communications crisis. Sometimes the best strategy is not to say anything. Sometimes the best strategy involves taking an aggressive, proactive approach and speaking to the media. When a crisis hits, there’s so much on the line that professional guidance on what to say (and what not to say) is necessary.

That’s when our experienced crisis communications and public relations group comes in. We help our clients manage media scrutiny, protect their business interests, and control the public narrative—and with it, public opinion.

Political Campaigns & Consulting

With extensive expertise across a variety of issue areas—from natural resources to energy to taxation, transportation, and insurance—and deep relationships with both political parties, our Political Campaigns and Consulting team is just as effective at supporting candidates running for office as helping change public perception around controversial issues.

Members of our team have been involved in presidential races and national political committee work; led successful statewide and local campaigns for candidates and on highly charged issues; and served as senior advisors to local, state and national political figures. Our skill, experience, and deep interdisciplinary bench set us apart from other political consultants—as does our enthusiasm for taking on and winning challenging campaigns.

Government Relations

Lobbying. Government relations. Campaign finance compliance and election law. Grasstops and grassroots lobbying. Administrative and regulatory rule making. Political action committees. You name it, we’ve counseled our clients through it—on the local, state, and national level, and on both sides of the aisle, for Maine-based businesses and trade associations as well as Fortune 500 companies and multinational corporations. Additionally, we have extensive experience representing municipalities in the legislature and representing clients in front of them. Plus, we do a great deal of work with nonprofits and in issue advocacy.


David Farmer, Managing Director

David Farmer is managing director of The Bernstein Shur Group, a public affairs, strategic communications and political consulting firm with offices in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Before joining The Bernstein Shur Group, he was president of Adeline Strategic Communications and the former deputy chief of staff and director of communications for Maine Governor John E. Baldacci.

Farmer has extensive experience in statewide political campaigns, coalition building and management, and issue advocacy. During the last two election cycles, he was a communications strategist and communications director for successful statewide campaigns.

In 2012, he helped to lead a historic citizen’s initiative in Maine to allow same-sex couples to receive a marriage license. The groundbreaking campaign became the first in the country in which voters approved same-sex marriage at the ballot box.

In 2011, Farmer was part of a successful statewide initiative campaign, which restored same-day voter registration with an overwhelming 20-point victory at the polls.

Before joining the Governor’s Office, Farmer spent 17 years as a journalist and was an award-winning reporter and editor in Maine, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. He currently writes a weekly political column in the Bangor Daily News, which was named the best opinion column for 2012 by the Maine Press Association.

He lives in Portland with his wife and two children.

Contact David at dfarmer@bernsteinshur.com.

Jim Merrill, New Hampshire State Director

Jim Merrill joined The Bernstein Shur Group after five years as managing director for Devine Strategies, the strategic consulting subsidiary of Devine Millimet, where he advised a wide range of corporate, political and nonprofit clients.

He has overseen numerous political and issue campaigns, including as senior advisor to the Romney for President campaign in 2008 and 2012. Presently, Jim serves as senior advisor to the Rubio for President campaign, responsible for New England and the Northeast. Jim previously served in the administration of Governor Stephen E. Merrill and is regularly sought out by local and national media for context on emerging public affairs issues. He is based in Manchester.

Contact Jim at jim.merrill@bernsteinshur.com.

Dennise Casey, Vermont State Director

Dennise Casey has successfully managed national, statewide and local public affairs campaigns, including grasstops outreach and organizing. She has served as a political field director for the Republican Governors Association and was deputy chief of staff and communications director for Vermont Gov. James Douglas.

She is based in South Burlington.

Contact Dennise at dcasey@bernsteinshur.com.

Jeremy Payne, Senior Project Manager

Jeremy Payne serves as Senior Project Manager at The Bernstein Shur Group. He focuses his practice on energy issues, lobbying, coalition building, grasstops and grassroots organizing. He brings government relations and policy experience.

Contact Jeremy at jpayne@bernsteinshur.com.

Andrea Nadeau, Project Manager

Andrea Nadeau serves as Project Manager for The Bernstein Shur Group. She brings experience in government relations, government ethics and elections practices and public utilities policy.

Contact Andrea at anadeau@bernsteinshur.com.

James Cote, Government & Public Affairs Specialist

James Cote serves as Government & Public Affairs Specialist with The Bernstein Shur Group. He brings experience leading campaigns and working in government and public relations on a variety of issues. He led last year’s No on Question 1 campaign to defeat a citizen’s initiative that attempted to undermine Maine’s bear management program.

Contact James at jcote@bernsteinshur.com.