Conservative operative Jonathan Lockwood, whose advocacy work in Colorado was once labeled “flat-out deranged” by The Denver Post editorial board, launched his own political communications firm this week after a boisterous year as spokesman for the Oregon Senate Republicans.
Lockwood said he wants Jonathan Lockwood & Associates to “help people tell their stories, and ignite change through storytelling.”
As an example, Lockwood pointed to a story he helped ignite with a press release in 2015 when Colorado Christian University’s right-leaning Centennial Institute told the Colorado Log Cabin Republicans the LGBT group couldn’t rent a booth at the organization’s Western Conservative Summit. Within hours, the story was trending on Facebook, eventually garnering wide coverage in publications ranging from The Advocate to The Wall Street Journal.
“I believe that people are like bright flames when they are born into this world, to provide light to the darkness that is around us. In life, we can burn bright, or grow dim, or we can become the truest forms of ourselves to burn blue, with intensity and power,” Lockwood said in a release.
“My firm will help people harness their truest selves, share that intensely, back it up authentically, with the public and with the media. My firm will also take on clients who are in need. We all have the right to defense in the courts of law, and we should all have the right to defense in courts of public opinion, now more than ever in today’s hyper-polarized world.”
The self-described “intense, Italian, Sagittarius from Denver who identifies as LGBT” said he plans to stick around in Oregon, where he amped up the rhetoric at the state Capitol last year.
“Portland is a magnificent city, with some of the most profound, magnetic connections I’ve made with people. People here are accepting and kind, and have a gentleness about them. I’m happy to have moved out here from Colorado and I want to give back to Oregon, what Oregon gave to me,” Lockwood said. He added that he’ll also take on out-of-state clients.
In November, Oregon Democratic Party chair Jeanne Atkins tore into Lockwoodafter he went to work for Republican gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler.
“From Lockwood’s tendency to insult reporters to spreading flat out lies, I am concerned about the tone of political discourse ahead,” Atkins said in a statement. “The Trump administration has set the standard for Republican discourse with their dismissal of facts and accusations of fake news. It seems Buehler may be following the same right-wing playbook with this recent hire to his campaign team.”
Lockwood parted ways with the Buehler campaign earlier this month. It was due to a “difference of opinion,” he told Colorado Politics.
Before he left Colorado for Oregon, Lockwood ran an organization called Advancing Colorado — its attack ad tying Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet to the threat of nuclear annihilation earned Lockewood the “flat-out deranged” description — and worked for Compass Colorado, Revealing Politics and Generation Opportunity. He was political director for U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman’s 2012 reelection campaign and worked as press secretary for the Colorado House Republicans during the tumultuous 2013 session.