Senate aide joins GOP-leaning lobby shop

A senior Republican Senate aide is joining a prominent GOP-leaning lobby firm.

BGR Government Affairs has hired Erskine Wells, the deputy chief of staff to Sen. Roger WickerRoger WickerOvernight Defense: GOP chairman moves ahead with 0B defense bill | Lawmakers eye 355 ship navy | Senate panel seeks answers on shoot down of Syrian jet The Hill's Whip List: GOP undecided, 'no' votes pile up on ObamaCare repeal bill Lawmakers unveil bill to set 355-ship Navy MORE (R-Miss.). 

Wells will be a vice president at the firm, owned by BGR Group and formerly known as Barbour Griffith & Rogers. While working in the Senate, Wells earned a top-secret security clearance and dealt with the Defense Department, the State Department and intelligence and homeland security issues.

Wells said he was looking to head into the private sector and was bowled over by the opportunity with BGR.

“I have known them for quite some time. I have always been impressed with their professionalism and their team approach,” Wells told The Hill. 

Loren Monroe, a principal at BGR Government Affairs, said Wells will be a “great addition.”

“All the major policy issues — like defense, tax, housing — are all issues that Erskine has worked in and can help us on. We are a firm that is hands-on. Our lobbying is policy-based and with someone who is so well-versed in policy like Erskine, he will be a great addition to our team,” Monroe said.

Wells has worked on Capitol Hill for about eight years. The Jackson, Miss., native interned for Sen. Thad CochranThad CochranOvernight Finance: CBO finds 22M more uninsured under Senate health bill | GOP agrees ObamaCare taxes must go | Supreme Court to look at Dodd-Frank whistleblower protections | More tax reform hearings | Green light for partial travel ban | Senate Dems set principles for potential budget negotiation Defense hawks gird for budget brawl MORE (R-Miss.) while at Davidson College, worked for Wicker as deputy legislative director and military legislative assistant and also staffed him when he served in the House.

He has also been chief of staff to freshman House Rep. Steve Palazzo (R-Miss.).

Wells said he’s eager to tackle politics and policy from a new perspective.

“It continues to give me the opportunity to work on a wide range of issues, like I did on Capitol Hill. I will be on the other side of the table, but I think I have some knowledge and experience that I can share with the firm's clients,” Wells said.