Scott Jennings is the founding partner of RunSwitch Public Relations, Kentucky’s largest PR and public affairs firm, providing senior-level communications, media relations, and crisis communications counsel to clients all over the world, including several Fortune 25 clients. When it comes to blending grassroots campaigns, communications tactics, and political strategy, Scott is one of the most experienced and successful operatives in the country. His expertise on political strategy, polling, and public policy often land him on Fox News, MSNBC, and other national media outlets who value his experienced insights. Scott’s unique ability to analyze data and reconcile it with gut-level political instincts makes him a valuable contributor to clients and to CNN, which made him an on-air political commentator in June 2017.
During the spring semester of 2018, Scott was named a Resident Fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics, housed in the Kennedy School of Government. Scott is teaching a series of seminars on American political party politics, tribalism, and political communications in the modern era.
Scott’s career has taken him across the country as part of four presidential campaigns and numerous federal and state races. He served in key roles in both of President George W. Bush’s campaigns in 2000 and 2004, before becoming Special Assistant to the President in 2005, serving under top Bush strategist Karl Rove in the White House Office of Political Affairs. Scott served as a liaison to members of Congress, state, and local officials, and key business, political, and community leaders nationwide, and his office advised the President on numerous issues.
Scott’s White House portfolio included political appointments, including roles in the confirmation of two US Supreme Court Justices: John Roberts and Samuel Alito. He advised The White House on the President’s domestic travel and wrote numerous briefings for the President, Vice President, and senior-level White House officials. He was a front-line briefer for visiting groups and participated in meetings on legislative, policy, and communications strategy. He coordinated surrogate operations to bolster the President’s agenda.
Scott served in senior communications positions on several highly-targeted races, notably helping elect US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2002, 2008, and 2014 as well as Congressman Brett Guthrie from 2008 to present. Jennings has written speeches and other content for numerous political leaders on a range of topics and is regarded as one of Leader McConnell’s top outside political advisors. In 2016, Scott was a consultant to Jeb Bush in the Republican presidential primary before becoming a political commentator and polling analyst on Fox News in the Fall. In 2012, Scott ran Mitt Romney’s Ohio operations in the most-targeted battleground state in the election.
In 2014 and 2016, Scott served as Senior Advisor to Kentuckians for Strong Leadership (KSL), a Super PAC that spent millions helping re-elect Senator McConnell. In 2016, KSL was the lead independent expenditure group for Republicans who finally flipped the Kentucky House to GOP control for the first time in a century.
Before politics and business, Scott was an award-winning journalist for Clear Channel Communications (WHAS Radio and the Kentucky News Network) from 1996 to 2000. He returned to his journalistic roots in 2013 when he joined Gannett’s Louisville Courier-Journal as a conservative columnist, tackling issues like “corrosive political tribalism” and President Donald J. Trump’s deals with Democratic leaders. He also writes for CNN.com and you can regularly find him quoted by CNN, The New York Times, the Associated Press, Politico, The Hill, Roll Call, National Journal, National Public Radio (NPR), U.S. News & World Report, and other major national news outlets.
Scott grew up in Dawson Springs, Kentucky, and graduated from the University of Louisville in 2000. He is married to the former Autumn Stiff of Whitesville, Kentucky, and they have four sons, Everett (8), Winston (4), Thatcher (2), and Harlan (born August 30, 2017). The family has adopted two rescue animals—Rufus the basset hound and Luna the parakeet. They currently reside in Prospect, Kentucky.