Former congressman Ryan Costello starts consulting firm

18 January 2019 3 min. read
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Following his retirement from Congress, former Pennsylvania representative Ryan Costello is starting a consulting firm. Ryan Costello Strategies will primarily focus on strategic communication. 

Costello, a Republican, did not seek reelection in 2018. Members of Congress are disallowed from working as lobbyists for one year after their terms end. Costello’s consulting firm will be a way for him to stay in touch with his political aspirations and ideals while avoiding breaking any rules.

“I’ve been talking to some companies,” he said in an interview with the Reading Eagle. “This way I will be able to stay engaged in policy and politics. And maybe someday I’ll run again.” 

According to recent analysis by The Atlantic, “Of the nearly four dozen lawmakers who left office after the 2016 election, one-fourth stayed in Washington, and one in six became lobbyists.” Costello said he will split his time between his home in Pennsylvania, and Washington DC and New York City, which he will visit for business-related matters once or twice a week.

Former congressman Ryan Costello starts consulting firm

Costello also currently acts as managing director for the Washington DC-based Americans for Carbon Dividends, a climate change advocacy group. He wrote an opinion piece early this month for the Wall Street Journal entitled,“Lesson from 2018: Republicans must deal with climate change.” 

During his tenure, Costello was one of Congress’s most bipartisan members. In an April article citing data from The Lugar Center, Philadelphia region public media station WHYY wrote that Costello ranked ninth in bipartisanship out of all 435 members.

A 2017 study by The Cook Political Report and Quorum ranked him fifth of the top 10 Republicans who voted against their own party, with just over 15% of Costello's votes in opposition to the Republican party. Most of these votes supported environmental, healthcare, and education initiatives.

“[Consulting will] be fun,” Costello said, in the Reading Eagle interview. “I’m 42 and have two little ones. I’m excited to see where this takes me.”

Politics and consulting often go hand-in-hand, with varying results. In September, political consultants Nick Muzin and Joey Allaham launched a public affairs consulting firm in New York City and Washington DC. In June, Kentucky Democratic lobbyist James Sullivan was accused of bribing the state’s Deputy Attorney General to secure lucrative contracts for law firms. Sullivan was subsequently convicted and early this month sentenced to 33 months in prison.