Jack Kingston joins lobbying giant Squire Patton Boggs

WASHINGTON -- Former U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah, has launched his post-Congress career at powerhouse lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggs.

The firm announced Tuesday that Kingston will be a principal in its Washington office to "assist with business development and strategic counseling" in areas where Kingston specialized in Congress, including defense, health care and agriculture.

Kingston's listed duties do not, at this point, include lobbying. By law he cannot lobby his former colleagues for a year. The 59-year-old Kingston left his seat to run for U.S. Senate but lost in a Republican runoff to now-Sen. David Perdue.

His move -- which likely comes with a serious payraise --  reduces the chances of Kingston pursuing another run for office in the near future. Kingston has had plenty of encouragement to run again, but with U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson running for re-election in 2016 and a deep Republican field already forming for the open 2018 governor's race, another statewide bid would have been a stiff challenge.

As an 11-term veteran and high-ranking member of the Appropriations Committee, Kingston's experience and contacts made him a sought after prize in Beltway circles. The newly merged Squire Patton Boggs brought in $31.5 million in lobbying income last year, the second highest total in the country, according to a tally by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Here's what Kingston had to say in a press release:

"My time as a public servant was dedicated to making policy decisions that would grow economic activity for Georgia and the United States. There is no firm better known for handling complex policy challenges than Squire Patton Boggs. I'm delighted to join the team and look forward to advising clients on how to best cut through the complex web of federal laws and regulations to grow their business and create jobs."