Former Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.), one of the past leaders of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition, has taken a job as senior vice president of government relations and public policy for the International Franchise Association.
“Charlie’s strong pro-business background and his bi-partisan relationships on Capitol Hill will help the IFA, and the franchising industry, strengthen and advance our job creation agenda in Washington,” IFA President and CEO Stephen Caldeira announced in a statement Wednesday.
Melancon will direct IFA’s lobbying and political activities, including managing staff members covering state and federal issues, according to the statement.
“As a former franchise owner, I fully understand the challenges facing small business owners,” Melancon said in the statement. He owned Baskin-Robbins franchises in Louisiana from 1978 until 1991.
Melancon was first elected to represent Louisiana’s 3rd Congressional district in 2004. He was one of three co-chairmen of the Blue Dogs.
He did not seek re-election to the House last year in order to challenge incumbent Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), but he lost by nearly 19 percentage points.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.