Altmire takes job with Blue Cross/Blue Shield in Florida

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Rep. Jason Altmire, D-McCandless, is heading back to the lobbying world, taking a position with Florida Blue, the Sunshine State's Blue Cross and Blue Shield operation, as senior vice president for public policy, government and community affairs.

"Serving the people of Western Pennsylvania in the United States Congress has been the highest honor of my life," Mr. Altmire said in a statement released by Florida Blue. During the past six years I have worked to represent every constituent in our diverse district and give Western Pennsylvania a voice in Washington."

Mr. Altmire's been in the job market since his primary loss to a fellow Democrat, Rep. Mark Critz, D-Johnstown, in the combined district that they were jammed into by a GOP redistricting map. Mr. Critz went on to lose the general election to Keith Rothfus, who had lost a close race to Mr. Altmire in 2010, in his old district.

The move to the Florida insurance firm represents a return to Mr. Altmire's roots on two counts. He was a health care lobbyist for UPMC before winning his seat in a 2006 upset over former Rep. Melissa Hart, and he is familiar with the Florida scene as a graduate of Florida State University and a former staffer for Rep. Pete Peterson, a former member of the state's U.S. House delegation.

A spokesman for Florida Blue declined to release the salary of the post Mr. Altmire will assume in January. Mr. Altmire will be based in Jacksonville. breaking - region - electionspa

James O'Toole: jotoole@post-gazette.com


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