Nick Rahall, the former longtime Democratic representative from West Virginia whose 38 years in the House ended last year, has joined the lobby firm Cassidy & Associates.
Rahall, a centrist Democrat, represented southern West Virginia from 1977 to 2015 and lost a tough reelection race to Republican Evan Jenkins in 2014.
The one-year lobbying ban, or “cooling off period,” for Rahall and other House members who left office at the beginning of 2015 concluded in January. Rahall said he spent the time on “the two Gs: golf and grandkids. But now I’m ready to get involved.”
Rahall plans to advise clients on transportation and natural resources issues. He chaired the House Natural Resources Committee from 2007 to 2011 and was the ranking member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2011 to 2015.
“I have a broad interest and close personal relationships with a lot of individuals in that area,” Rahall said. “There is where I hope to expand the horizons of Cassidy and bring together a lot of people who can enact transportation policy and … help preserve our environment and be a good steward of our land for generations to come.”
Cassidy & Associates, founded by one of Washington’s premier lobbyists, Gerald Cassidy, was once a top appropriations firm but has seen revenue decline in recent years following Congress’s ban on earmarks. Cassidy retired in 2013. The firm today focuses on defense, energy and natural resources policy. In 2015, it earned about $12.4 million in lobbying revenue.
Rahall joins a number of other former House members of the 113th Congress who have taken K Street jobs, including Reps. Jim Moran (D-Va.) at McDermott Will & Emery, Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) at Waxman Strategies, Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), who formed the McKeon Group, Lee Terry (R-Neb.) at Kelley Drye & Warren, and Dave Camp (R-Mich.) at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
“He has a sort of currency in this town that very few people have these days. We’re excited he’s affiliated with us,” said Kai Anderson, chief executive of Cassidy & Associates.