Kingston joins powerful D.C. lobbying firm

Former U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah, has launched his post-congressional career with a powerhouse lobbying firm.

Square Patton Boggs announced Tuesday that Kingston will be a principal in its Washington office to “assist with business development and strategic counseling” in areas where he 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 the U.S. Senate but lost in a Republican runoff to now-Sen. David Perdue.

His move — which likely comes with a serious pay raise — 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 congressman and high-ranking member of the Appropriations Committee, Kingston’s experience and contacts made him a sought-after prize in Beltway circles. Squire Patton Boggs brought in $31.5 million in lobbying income last year, the second-highest total in the country, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

“My time as a public servant was dedicated to making policy decisions that would grow economic activity for Georgia and the United States,” Kingston said in a press release. “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.”