Pennsylvania Lobbyist Eyed For White House Chief of Staff Role

By: Brent Sailhamer, Director of Government Affairs, ABC Keystone

In 1997, West Point graduate David Urban had earned the Bronze Star for his bravery in Desert Storm and decided to further his commitment to public service through a different route. He was hired by former Sen. Arlen Specter and only a year later, Urban was Specter’s chief of staff. Twenty years later, rumors are swirling about Urban serving as chief of staff again, only this time, to the Commander-in-Chief.

After his work with Specter, Urban founded the American Continental Group (ACG), one of the most respected lobbying firms in Washington, D.C., representing business giants like Pfizer, Comcast, and Hewlett-Packard. Known for his congenial attitude and easygoing nature, Urban’s skills translated well into the world of lobbying. Despite his Republican leanings, Urban was able to forge relationships on both sides of the aisle, delivering success to his many clients. Even when he returned to Pennsylvania in 2016 to serve as the State Director for the Trump campaign, ACG clients looked at the role as a foregone conclusion of failure. But Urban persisted and ultimately shocked the nation when Pennsylvania overwhelmingly supported Trump, securing him victory.

Now, as ACG continues to flourish under the Trump administration, insiders are hinting that Urban might be moving back into the public sector. Colleagues from the campaign are lobbying on his behalf to replace the beleaguered Reince Priebus and, while Urban isn’t talking on the issue, the role would certainly keep Pennsylvania in the spotlight.