Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm

Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm
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After being courted by many K Street firms, former Sen. Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganNorth Carolina businessman will challenge Tillis in GOP primary Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 NC state senator meets with DSCC as Dems eye challenge to Tillis MORE (D-N.C.) is joining Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, the firm plans to announce on Monday.

Akin Gump is Washington’s largest lobby shop by revenue, taking in more than $35 million in advocacy fees alone in 2014, but Hagan still has another year before she would be able to register to lobby.

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Senators are required to take a two-year “cooling off” period before they can directly advocate before their House and Senate colleagues. Hagan left Congress at the end of 2014 after losing a tough reelection battle to then-Rep. Thom Tillis (R).

Hagan, who will be serving as a senior policy consultant within the firm’s public law and policy practice, is staying mum on whether she’ll become a registered lobbyist. 

“That’s something we'll look at down the road,” Hagan told The Hill, adding that she’s instead looking forward to doing consulting work for Akin Gump’s clients.

As a former member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions  Committee — in addition to panels focused on banking, armed services and small business — Hagan has experience in a diverse set of policy issues. Prior to her time in public service, she worked as a vice president at her home state’s largest bank, North Carolina National Bank, which is now part of Bank of America. 

“Senator Hagan represents precisely the type of person we seek to recruit to our team: well-versed in the issues important to our clients, strongly committed to the political process and dedicated to the highest levels of service,” said Don Pongrace, the head of Akin Gump’s public law and policy practice, in an email to The Hill.  

“It’s difficult for us to imagine someone who would be a better fit for Akin Gump, or a stronger asset to our clients, than Senator Hagan,” he wrote.

The former North Carolina lawmaker, who is also a surrogate for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonNevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests Iowa Democrats brace for caucus turnout surge MORE, said that the firm’s political character drove her to join its ranks.

“For me, having spent time in Washington and through the gridlock in the last years that I was there,” the bipartisan nature of Akin Gump was “appealing,” she said. 

“They have Democrats and Republicans, and they encourage work within the political sphere.”

While serving in the Senate, Hagan participated in groups to help elect woman running for office and programs to help soldiers and their families. She said she wants to continue to working in those areas as well.

Akin Gump’s clients include AT&T, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, Phillip Morris International, Chevron, WageWorks, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Honeywell International, Moody’s Corporation, the U.S. India Security Council, TripAdvisor and Amazon, among many others.

Hagan will be splitting her time between the firm’s Washington office and her home in North Carolina. 

She is among a handful of Senate Democrats who have landed on K Street since losing their seats in the 2014 elections.

Arkansas’s 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 landed at Venable in February, while Alaska’s Mark BegichMark Peter BegichFormer GOP chairman Royce joins lobbying shop Lobbying world Dem governors on 2020: Opposing Trump not enough MORE went to Brownstein Hyatt Farber & Schreck in April. In May, Louisiana’s Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuDems wrestle over how to vote on ‘Green New Deal’ Lobbying world Former New Orleans mayor: It's not my 'intention' to run for president MORE went to Van Ness Feldman and began working for energy clients.