• Ted Hughes and Associates, 1962-2019.

About Ted Hughes

Ted Hughes grew up in Seattle, Washington. In his last semester at the University of Washington, he was drafted into the Korean War. After returning from military service, Ted Hughes turned his love of railroads and transportation into a career as a lobbyist. He established himself in the sales department of Union Pacific Railroad. He then moved onto lobbying for the Oregon Railroad Association at the Oregon Legislature.

In his oral history, Ted Hughes describes his time as a lobbyist. He explains what a lobbyist does, his approach to lobbying, and how the profession has changed and expanded since his arrival in Salem in 1963. As one of only four new lobbyists in Salem that year, he equates the growth in the number of lobbyists to the growth of government, both state and municipal.

Further, he describes how every Oregonian is represented at the legislature by a lobbyist. Every profession, trade, and educational organization is represented by a lobbyist to protect their interests. Hughes succinctly states the lobbyist’s objective: “It’s a tough job because you have to get the language right in the bills that are being drafted, and help pass them if you like them, and kill ‘em if you don’t. That’s oversimplified, but that’s exactly what we do in all government affairs work.” He did just that for over twenty-five clients over the course of his forty-two plus years in Salem.

– Interview recorded September 25, 2020