The following bio is that of an event speaker or guest author. This person is not directly affiliated with the John Locke Foundation.
For over four decades, Paul Shumaker has created winning strategies for political organizations and Republican candidates at every level of government, leading to a fundamental transformation of North Carolina’s political landscape. As one of the longest serving and successful political consultants in the state, his work is distinguished by its clear and honest direction, based on historical, current, and projected business and political climates.
Early in his career, Paul worked for Congressman James T. Broyhill, followed by Governor Jim Martin during his successful 1984 and 1988 gubernatorial campaigns. He served as Campaign Director for the North Carolina Republican Party in 1986, and held various positions within the Martin administration, including Deputy Secretary of the NC Department of Commerce.
His work is credited with several noteworthy “firsts” in North Carolina. In 2000, Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry was elected as the first Republican woman to statewide office, and Supreme Court Justice I. Beverly Lake became the first Republican Chief Justice in over 100 years.
Working with former North Carolina House Speaker Harold Brubaker, Paul pioneered a long-term strategy to build a governing majority in the General Assembly. He set the standard for utilizing survey research in legislative campaigns, created the first centralized and coordinated legislative effort, and in 2010 Republicans won control of both houses for the first time since 1896. In addition, Paul was the first Republican consultant to introduce big data analysis in North Carolina by integrating the use of micro-targeting and data analytics in all four successful US Senate campaigns.
Paul served as the general consultant for US Senator Richard Burr’s electoral victories to both Congress and the United State Senate, including his 2004 defeat of Clinton advisor Erskine Bowles, hailed by National Journal as one of the biggest wins nationwide. In 2014, he worked as the general consultant for US Senator Thom Tillis’ successful campaign against the Democrat incumbent, Kay Hagan which at the time set a national record for the most expensive US Senate race in American history.
Paul Shumaker is founder and president of Capitol Communications, Inc. – a consulting firm specializing in strategic planning, public opinion research and media development for political, corporate, and issue clients. He is also co-owner of Strategic Partners Solutions, an issue management firm based in Raleigh.
A partial listing of Paul’s clients include US Senator Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, Congressmen George Holding and David Rouzer, North Carolina Speaker of the House Tim Moore, North Carolina Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry, North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby and well as numerous members of the North Carolina General Assembly and local elected county officials.
He is married to the former Ann Burton, and they live in Raleigh with their three sons – Tom, David, and Hays.