A former deputy chief of staff to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has joined the political and policy consulting firm Collins Johnson Group as a principal.

Darrel Thompson stepped down Sept. 30 as the Nevada Democrat’s deputy chief of staff for intergovernmental and external affairs, shortly before announcing he would be running for the Ward 6 seat on the D.C. Council. Ward 6 incumbent Democrat Tommy Wells is giving up the seat to run for mayor.

At Collins Johnson, Thompson joins a Washington-based strategy, policy, and communications firm founded by Arthur Collins and Broderick Johnson, two former lobbyists and veterans of the capital’s political scene.

Prior to joining Reid, Thompson was chief of staff to the Barack Obama for U.S. Senate campaign. According to a release, he also served as finance chief of staff and national political advisor for Missouri congressman Richard Gephardt’s 2004 presidential campaign. He also held several senior positions during Gephardt’s tenure as House Democratic Leader, and served as the deputy executive director of the House Democratic Caucus.

“Darrel’s solid reputation and record of success makes him a tremendous asset to our team,” Johnson said in a statement.

Washington Post staff writer Mike Debonis reported recently that Thompson has a significant cash advantage as he seeks to replace Wells. The Democrat had nearly $50,000 on hand a week after formally launching his campaign Oct. 6. He will face Charles Allen, who left his post as Wells’s chief of staff.