Ex-Sen. Pryor heading to K Street

Former Sen. Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (D-Ark.) will be joining the K Street ranks at law and lobby firm Venable, a partner at the firm confirmed to The Hill on Friday.

Pryor lost his Senate seat in last year’s elections after a bitter battle with Republican Rep. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonGOP senator accuses fellow Republican of spreading ‘fake news’ about criminal justice reform bill Senate barrels toward showdown over Trump's court picks Trump set to have close ally Graham in powerful chairmanship MORE. Immediately after, headhunters began sizing him up for potential private-sector positions.

He will serve as a partner at the firm and may begin as soon as next week. As a former Senator, Pryor is prohibited from lobbying his former colleagues for at least two years. He can, however, give clients strategic legal, policy and advocacy advice – or put his law degree to use.

“I think it’s a terrific hire for Venable. Senators are the American version of legislative royalty and it’s always great to have one as part of your team,” Ivan Adler, a principal at the McCormick Group, told The Hill on Friday.

“He's got an excellent congressional pedigree and will add a lot value to the firm,” the headhunter said.

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The National Law Journal was first on Friday to report the Pryor hire, citing “three people with knowledge of the lobbying industry.”

The ex-senator also looked into working for Greenberg Traurig, Hogan Lovells and Arent Fox, those sources told the publication.

He spent more than a decade in the Senate, and served on several influential committees including the Senate Appropriations Committee. Pryor also sat on commerce, homeland security and small business-focused panels.

Pryor also has a term as Arkansas attorney general under his belt during the administration of former Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Venable earned nearly $8 million in lobbying fees during 2014, a decline from previous years. However, the firm also handles a large amount of regulatory work – which often does not factor into that lobbying total. 

The firm has clients in several sectors, including Marriott, Experian, American Airlines, Amazon.com, Lockheed Martin and tobacco giant Altria Client Services. It also boasts a team of well-connected lobbyists and former lawmakers, including former Reps. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and Jim GerlachJames (Jim) Gerlach2018 midterms: The blue wave or a red dawn? Pa. GOP 'disappointed' by rep retiring after filing deadline Pennsylvania Republican Costello won't seek reelection MORE (R-Penn.).

The Hill reported in December that the executive job market could be tough for the large number of defeated lawmakers exiting Capitol Hill following the midterms, but Democrats with experience cutting deals with Republicans -- like Pryor – would be highly prized.

Venable did not return a request from The Hill for an official comment by the time of this posting, and declined to comment for the National Law Journal. The partner who spoke with The Hill is not authorized to speak on the record about the hire, and asked for anonymity.