A former member of Congress at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough and one of his colleagues at the firm have lost their lobbying business from a county in suburban Pittsburgh to Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney.
The Westmoreland County Board of Commissioners on Thursday approved a federal government advocacy contract with its state lobbyist, Buchanan, ending a lobbying relationship that, congressional records show, the county began with former Rep. Ronald Klink (D-Pa.) and Mick Nardelli in 2009. Klink is a senior policy adviser at Nelson Mullins, while Nardelli is a policy adviser.
Westmoreland County Commissioner R. Tyler Courtney said the decision to drop Nelson didn't stem from any concern about the firm's efforts in Washington. Rather, the county decided it would better to have a single firm handle all of its lobbying needs. A "more cohesive" effort would be more beneficial to the county as it works to secure state and federal funding for an expansion of Arnold Palmer Regional Airport and other transportation projects, Courtney said.
The county will pay Buchanan $96,000 per year to lobby for it both in Washington and Harrisburg, Pa. Nelson received $60,000 annually from the county for its advocacy work in Washington.
The Buchanan lobbyist or lobbyists who will advocate for the county in Washington couldn't immediately be determined. Buchanan government relations professional John Paul Jones, who handles the state lobbying for Westmoreland, couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review first reported the county's federal lobbying contract with Buchanan.