Political Notebook: Newly Elected Making Staff Moves

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 462 views 

We’ve reported on some of the early, official staff moves from newly-elected constitutional officers and Congressional leaders.

Gov.-elect Asa Hutchinson has unveiled a slew of senior staff positions. One additional staff position that hasn’t been publicized is the hiring of Carlton Saffa.

Saffa, a Little Rock insurance broker who was active as an unpaid advisor in Hutchinson’s campaign, will serve as a policy advisor to the Gov.-elect.

Attorney General-elect Leslie Rutledge has hired former Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Julie Benafield as chief deputy Attorney General. Benafield served in the insurance commission post during the Mike Huckabee administration. She has also served as CEO of the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Committee.

“I have a great deal of respect for Julie’s prior experience in state government and the private sector. She understands management of attorneys in a state agency and has been an integral part of my transition team. The depth of her knowledge will be a tremendous asset to the office and I am pleased that she has agreed to accept the position,” said Rutledge.

Second District Cong.-elect French Hill announced that A. Brooke Bennett, currently a senior advisor to Congressman Tim Griffin, will serve as his chief of staff effective January 3, 2015.

As chief of staff, Bennett will advise Hill on policy and legislative matters and manage the Congressman’s office and staff operations in Washington and Arkansas. Bennett has served Griffin in a number of leadership assignments since January 2011, including deputy chief of staff, legislative director, and chief counsel.

Fourth District Cong.-elect Bruce Westerman has chosen Ryan James to serve as his chief of staff. James was Westerman’s campaign manager and has a variety of experience in GOP politics. Jason McGehee, Cong. Griffin’s district director, will be moving to Westerman’s office in January and fulfilling the same role in the Fourth District.