Former Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) is joining a law and lobbying firm.

At Husch Blackwell, Skelton will advise the firm's lawyers and clients on legal and public policy issues. The former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, who lost his reelection bid last year, will work primarily in the firm's Washington office. 

"While other national firms courted me to come aboard, Husch Blackwell's national footprint and strong Missouri roots make it the right fit for me," Skelton said in a statement. "Their government contracts group is among the strongest in the country, and I'm eager to start working with their impressive team of attorneys."

Skelton will join the firm this coming Tuesday. 

"This is a truly banner day for Husch Blackwell," said David Fenley, co-chairman of the firm, which is based in St. Louis. "Chairman Skelton represents the best that America has to offer. He is a true patriot of the highest calling who is earnestly concerned about the defense of our country and, even more importantly, the safety and welfare of our troops and their families." 

Skelton served 17 terms in the House. He was a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, the conservative House Democratic caucus, which has seen many of its former members join law and lobby firms since leaving Congress.