Capitol Inside has again placed the Texas Lobby Group in the top spots of their Top Hired Gun Lobbyist rankings. Mike Toomey and Bill Messer are ranked as the No. 2 and No. 4 Hired Gun Lobbyists in the State and Lara Keel remains the highest ranked female lobbyist in Texas at No. 11 overall. Carrie Simmons, the most recent addition to the Texas Lobby Group team, has topped Capitol Inside’s Rising Star list.
Mike Toomey and Bill Messer, who helped found the group, retain their spots among the rankings’ top four lobbyists. Bill Messer has been rated in the top four every year of the ranking’s existence. Mike Toomey has been rated the number one lobbyist three times and has been in the top four every year he has been on the list. In 2003, he was rated the top lobbyist turned public servant when he moved to the Governor’s office making him the only person in Texas history to serve as Chief of Staff to two Texas Governors.
Capitol Inside said of Mike and Bill:
“Toomey and Messer, who both happen to be former state representatives with law degrees as well, have been working in tandem and separately for most of the past decade as the biggest names in a prize collection of political professionals…The Texas Lobby Group that they conceived a dozen years ago has been the unofficial centerpiece for the Texas Capitol Group that includes several more lobbyists and communications experts who aren’t registered to lobby….While the curtain dropped last month on Perry’s historic stint as the longest-serving governor in Texas history, Toomey hasn’t appeared to lose any of the competitive edge or clout that he wields as a lobbyist…”
Joining them is Lara Keel, the top rated female lobbyist for the third straight time. Lara rounds out the trio by as the No. 11 rated lobbyist in the state. Lara has steadily risen up the rankings since leaving the Texas Association of Business to join the Texas Lobby Group in 2003 and more recently becoming President of Red State Women.
Carrie Simmons is the most recent addition to the Texas Lobby Group team. After working as the executive director of the Texas House Republican Caucus, she went on to become Communications Director for Red State Women where she worked very closely with Lara Keel before joining the Texas Lobby Group.