Some former lawmakers, though, still believe their best contributions can be made inside Washington, even while outside of Congress.
Republican Ander Crenshaw of Florida, who served eight terms in the House before retiring, joined the D.C. lobbying firm King & Spalding, where he counsels clients on the impact of regulations and legislation on health care, defense and finance. Crenshaw worked in law and investment banking before he was first elected to Congress in 2000: “Those are the three things that help me bring an interesting, unique perspective,” he said.
Former Republican Sen. David Vitter, who lost a bid for governor of Louisiana in November 2015, is splitting his time between Washington, at Mercury Public Affairs, and his home state, where he is counsel with the law firm Butler Snow. Vitter is working on issues he championed in Congress, including energy and chemical regulation.
“I’m really enjoying what I’m doing in a very positive, forward-looking sense,” Vitter said. “So I’m very happy.”
Two House Republicans who lost elections last year are continuing public service as a result of White House appointments. Renee Ellmers, who lost a GOP primary in North Carolina, was named regional administrator of the Department of Health and Human Services in Atlanta, and John Fleming, an unsuccessful candidate for the Senate seat vacated by Vitter, was named HHS deputy assistant secretary for health information technology reform.
A few other ex-House members opted to continue in government at the local or state level: Republican Candice S. Miller was elected public works commissioner in Macomb County, Michigan, Democrat Janice Hahn won a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, and Democrat John Carney was elected governor of Delaware.