On the Senate side, lobbyists have their eyes on David Hoppe, who is chief of staff to outgoing Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and spent eight years with QGA Public Affairs. Other hot prospects include Charles Kieffer, a budget expert who previously was staff director of the Senate Appropriations Committee under then-Chairman Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.). Kieffer, who spent 16 years at the Office of Management and Budget, is now staff director of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security.
Of course, just because these top Hill aides are drawing the attention of K Street doesn’t mean any will make a move or are even willing to entertain offers. Indeed, some of the most sought-after staffers would be hard-pressed to leave the Hill when next year promises to be big in their areas of expertise, such as tax reform.
But for some, the lure of double or even — in the case of Sullivan — more than quadruple their government salaries might be too strong.
“Just this week alone, I’ve talked to half a dozen very senior Hill types who are positioning themselves to make a move around the election,” Olson said last week.