Updated at 5:40 p.m.
A Cleveland-based business advisory and advocacy law firm has arrived in Washington with former Representative Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio) at the helm.
McDonald Hopkins hired the nine-term congressman, who left Congress this month, as the president of its new D.C. lobbying subsidiary, McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies, the firm announced on Tuesday. LaTourette's wife, Jennifer LaTourette, who was a Van Scoyoc Associates vice president, is the vice president of the subsidiary. Although the LaTourettes hold law degrees, neither of them will provide legal services.
The former congressman said he is "very excited" about starting the subsidiary. He said his biggest challenge right now is raising revenue. When he overcomes that hurdle, LaTourette said he will work on hiring a Democratic lobbyist.
"We hope to get to that as soon as" possible, he said.
McDonald Hopkins President Carl Grassi said in a written statement that opening up a subsidiary in Washington is a "natural move" for the 140-attorney firm, which has offices in Chicago; Detroit; Miami; Columbus, Ohio; and West Palm Beach, Fla., in addition to Cleveland.
"Establishing a formal Washington presence built around these outstanding professionals continues the steady growth and expansion of our firm," Grassi said. "Among their efforts, Steve and Jennifer will be available to work with our state-level government affairs practice to enhance our ability to serve the needs of our clients."
Under federal law, Steven LaTourette must complete a one-year "cooling-off" period before he can traverse Capitol Hill as a lobbyist. He said he will lobby federal agencies this year as he works on business development.
"I think there's plenty of work to do," he said.
But his wife will be able to lobby Congress.
At Van Scoyoc last year, LaTourette had seven lobbying clients, including the Center for Responsible Lending and the Airports Council International - North America, according to congressional records. Jennifer LaTourette, a onetime chief of staff to her husband, started lobbying at the firm in 2003.