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Morning Business: A Death in the Family

William Proctor Jones, a lobbyist with Steptoe & Johnson who spent more than 34 years as a Senate staffer before joining the private sector, died Tuesday in Flint Hill, Va., of complications from lung cancer. He was 68.

[IMGCAP(1)]A native Georgian, he began his Capitol Hill career in 1960 as an intern for the late Sen. Richard B. Russell (D-Ga.) and later served as Russell’s special assistant until 1970. He spent two years in the late 1960s in the Marine Corps but otherwise remained on the staff of the Senate’s powerful Appropriations Committee until entering the lobbying business in 1997. When he left the Senate, Jones was clerk for the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development.

Several Senators on that panel paid tribute to Jones before a markup Wednesday, including subcommittee Chairman Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), who said, “Proctor set a standard for all who knew and worked with him here. He loved the Senate, he was tireless in his efforts and he was a master of the appropriations process. Proctor will be missed.—

On Appropriations, Jones worked for then-Sen. Bennett Johnston (D-La.), with whom he later became a partner in Johnston & Associates.

The firm’s practice was recently acquired by Steptoe. His clients over the years included Xcel Energy, Lockheed Martin, the Nuclear Energy Institute and the Universities Research Association.

“He was a legend among all professional staff, but particularly to the Appropriations Committee, and was a great partner to my father and I,— said Hunter Johnston of Steptoe. “It’s a great loss both for the Hill and the lobbying community at large.—