Podesta Group hires chief of staff to GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander

Sen. Lamar Alexander's (R-Tenn.) chief of staff is heading to one of the top-earning lobby firms in Washington.

David Morgenstern will be a principal at the Podesta Group and will help manage legislative strategy and advocacy efforts on several issues, including the budget, education, energy, financial services and transportation. 

The Podesta Group, founded by the fundraiser and lobbyist Tony Podesta, is known for its ties to Democratic lawmakers and has seen its lobbying revenue surge since President Obama took office in 2008. 

But since the GOP seized control of the House last year, the Podesta Group has worked to boost its bipartisan credentials, hiring several high-profile Republicans to join its lobbyist roster. 

The day before the election, Podesta made a splash by adding Mike Quaranta, the longtime chief of staff to Rep. Mike Castle (Del.), a centrist Republican. Castle retired from Congress last year after losing in a GOP Senate primary to Christine O'Donnell.  

In a statement announcing the hire of Morgenstern on Friday, Podesta touted his "strong ties" to Republicans. 

“His expertise is particularly important as the Senate considers game-changing legislation in energy, transportation and education," Kimberley Fritts, the firm's CEO, said in a statement. "David’s strong ties to the Republican Party strengthen our commitment to providing the best policy and political expertise from both sides of the aisle."

Morgenstern joined the Tennessee Republican's office in 2005, starting as legislative director before moving up to chief of staff. He helped with strategic planning for the Senate Republican Conference, which the senator leads.

Alexander is now vying to be Senate minority whip, a position that will be open in the next Congress now that Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) is retiring.  

David started his Senate career as an aide to the late Sen. Paul Coverdell (R-Ga.) and also worked as counsel to former Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.), now governor of Rhode Island.