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Ryan Staffing Up for Speaker's Office

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

If he's elected speaker Thursday, Paul D. Ryan plans to name David Hoppe — a man best known around the Capitol for his Senate experience — to be his chief of staff.  

Hoppe is a lobbyist who has worked as a chief of staff on both sides of the Rotunda. Most notably, Hoppe has worked under senators including Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi and Minority Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona. Like his new boss, Hoppe is a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan and fellow shareholder. "Dave has been a foot soldier in the conservative movement, and he is a good friend," Ryan said in a statement Sunday. "His decades of experience fighting for the cause and his passionate commitment to conservative principles are just what I’m looking for to create a new kind of speakership."  

Hoppe's new position was first reported  by The Washington Post.  

"Dave Hoppe is one of the most exceptional people I have encountered in conservative politics," David Schnittger, a senior policy adviser at Squire Patton Boggs where Hoppe now works, said in a statement to CQ Roll Call. "You won't meet a more principled individual or a person who cares more deeply about our country."  

Hoppe's lobbying clients this year have included Amazon.com and candy maker Mars Inc.  

He also represented Delta Air Lines, a critic of the Export-Import Bank, through his own lobbying practice earlier this year, lobbying reports filed with Congress show. Ryan opposes Ex-Im, whose charter expired in June, but some House backers of the export credit agency are trying to keep it alive.  

Highlighting Hoppe's conservative credentials, Ryan's office noted that in addition to his time in the Senate and on K Street, the expected chief of staff also worked as a vice president at the Heritage Foundation.  

"Dave — a member of the Heritage family — is a deeply principled man," Heritage founder Ed Feulner said in a statement. "This is a great sign that Paul Ryan understands the importance of putting forward big conservative ideas, and I know that Dave has the expertise and passion to help implement them."  

Hoppe was at one point chief of staff to Rep. Jack Kemp, the New York Republican and role model to Ryan.  

Ryan and Hoppe met while both men worked in the Senate more than two decades ago. Hoppe was by then already chief of staff to Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., during Coats' first tour of duty in the Senate, while Ryan was an aide to Wisconsin Republican Sen. Bob Kasten.  

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