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Dutko Lures Willcox From Hastert Team

Darren Willcox is leaving his post as the top health care aide to Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) to join the Dutko Group, a prominent Washington lobbying firm. During three years with the Speaker, Willcox, 33, was heavily involved in several iterations of Medicare reform legislation as well as the Patients’ Bill of Rights. As assistant to the Speaker for policy, Willcox also worked on Social Security legislation.

Prior to joining Hastert’s office in 2001, Willcox spent six years as an aide to Rep. Porter Goss (R-Fla.), finishing up as Goss’ administrative assistant and liaison to the Rules Committee. Early in his career, Willcox interned for Rep. Mike Oxley (R-Ohio).

At Dutko, Willcox will be executive vice president and head of the health care practice. Willcox will also be tasked with bringing in clients from outside the health care arena.

Currently, Willcox said, Dutko “has a limited number of health care clients, so I will work on building the health care practice and be a senior person for working with the House and Senate leadership and the White House on more general issues.”

“Darren is one of the top, if not the top, health care policy people to leave the Hill in the last couple of years,” said Dutko Senior Managing Partner Gary Andres. “We’re thrilled to have him join our firm.”

No successor has been chosen yet in the Speaker’s office.

Willcox, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

— Louis Jacobson