Sen. Jon Kyl hires renowned GOP lobbyist as his chief of staff

A prominent Republican lobbyist is heading back to Capitol Hill to be Sen. Jon Kyl’s (R-Ariz.) chief of staff.

David Hoppe, president of Quinn Gillespie & Associates, is replacing Lisa Wolski, who Kyl announced is leaving his office. Kyl is the Senate minority whip, and is retiring after the 2012 election. 

In a statement sent to clients, Jack Quinn, Quinn Gillespie's chairman and co-founder, said they will miss Hoppe but wish him well in his next endeavor.

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“It's with mixed feelings that we let you know that Dave Hoppe has been asked by Senator Jon Kyl to be his chief of staff in his Senate Whip's office. Dave, with the commitment he has to serving his country and party, has agreed to do so,” Quinn said. “Please join all of us at QGA in wishing Dave and his family the very best as he begins to write yet another chapter in his remarkable professional career.” 

Kyl’s office confirmed to The Hill that Hoppe will be the senator’s next chief of staff.

Hoppe has deep experience working for Senate Republican leadership. From 1996 to 2002, he was chief of staff to then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.).

Quinn Gillespie has seen new principals come and go as of late.

Manuel Ortiz, a high-profile Democratic lobbyist, left the firm this year to join Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. Jim Manley, the former senior aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), has since joined the firm. 

In his statement, Quinn said Hoppe has been an “integral part” of the firm’s lobbying team but his responsibilities will be covered by others at the lobby shop.

“As you know, Dave has been an integral part of QGA and its leadership for almost the entire life of the firm. We will miss him, but we understand what draws him back into public service and we are proud of him for having been afforded this opportunity,” Quinn said. “Dave's client responsibilities here at the firm will be covered by others with the same level of professionalism and conscientiousness that he has brought to his work.” 

Hoppe will have big shoes to fill. In a statement, Kyl praised Wolski, saying she was the “gold standard” for congressional aides.

“We refer to people around here as staffers. She is more than that. That name doesn't begin to encapsulate what we think of those people who work with us every day and provide us with all the things we need to try to be successful. That certainly is Lisa Wolski. She is and always has been one of my most trusted advisers. She is the gold standard of expertise and professionalism,” Kyl said. 

Several lobbyists told The Hill that Wolski was heading to GE, which the company later confirmed.

—Updated at 2:35 p.m.


Erik Wasson contributed to this report.

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