Former House Republican campaign chief Thomas M. Reynolds, a New Yorker who spent five terms in Congress, is bringing his lobbying practice to Holland & Knight as the firm tries to expand its Republican ties.
Reynolds retired from the House, where he served on the Ways and Means Committee, in 2009. He set up shop at the firm Nixon Peabody where his recent clients have included Goldman Sachs Group, the American Unity Fund and the Council for Affordable Housing and Rural Development, disclosures show.
Reynolds and his former chief of staff Sally Vastola are both joining as senior policy advisers in Holland & Knight’s public policy and regulation practice. Two other GOP lobbyists from their group at Nixon Peabody are decamping for Holland & Knight, too: Douglas Dziak, a onetime aide for former Ohio Sen. George V. Voinovich; and Jodi Richardson, a former aide to Indiana Sen. Todd Young, when he served in the House.
After growing his lobbying practice at Nixon Peabody, Reynolds said he and his team were looking for a “larger platform.”
“We liked the people at Holland & Knight, and they have a significant practice,” Reynolds told CQ Roll Call. “They also were looking to strengthen the bench on the Republican side, so it just became an offer too good to refuse.”
The former lawmaker, who chaired the National Republican Congressional Committee from 2003 to 2006, declined to say which of his clients will go with him.
“I’ve had a pretty strong following of clients, and I believe that we will see many of them want to follow the service that we’ve offered over the years,” Reynolds said. “My hope is that we’ll see a strong continuation of existing clients.”
Reynolds used to serve on the House Ways and Means Committee, which is at the center of some of the most high-profile debates in Washington over health care policy and a tax law overhaul.
“Having sat between Kevin Brady and Paul Ryan, I know those guys are busy,” Reynolds said of his former Ways and Means seatmates. Brady, a Texas Republican, chairs the panel, while Wisconsin’s Ryan is speaker of the House.
In addition to his role at Holland & Knight, Reynolds plans to continue serving on the board of the American Action Network, a group that has been running ads in support of the House GOP health care proposal, which would replace the 2010 overhaul.
Reynolds and his team aren’t Holland & Knight’s first recent hires to bolster the law and lobbying firm’s Republicans, the party in charge of Congress and the executive branch.
Scott Mason, who was director of congressional relations for the Trump presidential campaign, joined Holland & Knight as a lobbyist in January. Dimitri Karakitsos, senior GOP counsel for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, signed on last October.
“I am thrilled that Tom and Sally and their team are coming to Holland & Knight,” said the firm’s Kathryn Lehman, a former House GOP aide. “As a former conservative member from upstate New York and chairman of the NRCC, they have a better sense of what you can ask somebody to do and the kind of support you need to give them.”
Reynolds, 66, said his past as owner of an insurance agency and other business endeavors, along with his 35 years in elective office, helped prime him for his lobbying career.
“I know the business side, I know what you can expect and what you’ve got to produce,” he said. Holland & Knight, he added, “will be my home as I spend my years until I finally am going to take a rest. I don’t see that for the foreseeable future.”