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Pawlenty Leaving Romney Campaign for Lobbying Job

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Tim Pawlenty is stepping away from public service to become a bank lobbyist.

The former Minnesota governor is leaving his post as national co-chairman of the Romney campaign to become the CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable, a bipartisan lobbyist group representing 100 of the largest financial services firms in the United States.

Pawlenty, a vocal critic of the 2009 bank bailout, made his middle-class roots a centerpiece of his own presidential bid that ended in the fall of 2011 after failing to gain any traction. He was also reportedly on Romney’s short list for vice president.

Pawlenty will succeed former Dallas Mayor Steve Bartlett, who made $1.8 million in 2010 as CEO of the lobbyist group, according to a tax filing.

Mitt Romney may be losing a key member of his campaign team, but it looks like he may be gaining another millionaire friend.