Under the Dome

Veteran lobbyists expand firm

Veteran lobbyists Gene Ainsworth and Jack Cozort have expanded their firm following the recent departure of co-founder Theresa Kostrzewa.

Ainsworth’s and Cozort’s North State Strategies has brought on lawyer and lobbyist Ashley Perkinson, and Cozort’s son, Jackson, who has a background in communications.

Kostrzewa, who helped start North State Strategies in 2010, has joined Capital Results.

Before becoming a lawyer, Perkinson was a legislative office assistant for then Majority Leader Leo Daughtry of Smithfield and Speaker Harold Brubaker of Asheboro, both Republicans. She was a congressional intern for Rep. Howard Coble, a Republican from Greensboro, and was a White House intern in the Clinton administration.

Jackson Cozort worked as a business manager and marketing and sales manager in Charlotte, and frequently performed at musical venues there.

During the 2013 long session, members of the new team represented a variety of clients, including 7-Eleven, the cities of Asheville and Wilson, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Humane Society of the United States, Reynolds American, the N.C. PTA and the state Retired Governmental Employees Association.

Jack Cozort is a former appeals court judge and was counsel to former Gov. Jim Hunt. Ainsworth is a former longtime governmental relations officer with R.J. Reynolds, and worked in politics in Washington, D.C.