Rep. Gossage named governor’s deputy chief of staff, names new state-federal relations director

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 168 views 

Rep. Bill Gossage of Ozark has been appointed Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s deputy chief of staff for external operations.

Gossage was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2012. He is a retired assistant superintendent for the Ozark Public School System with 34 years of experience as an educator and has served as a member of the House Education Committee. He has represented District 82, which includes parts of Franklin, Madison, and Crawford Counties.

“Bill has been a longtime friend and adviser, and I have no doubt that his experience in education and his service in the Legislature will provide my office with wise counsel and guidance as we approach the 2017 general session,” Hutchinson said in a statement released by his office. “Most importantly, though, Bill shares my vision for our state. As a former educator, he led the effort to help pass my landmark computer science education bill because he understands what it takes for our students to compete in a 21st century workplace.”

Gossage will work with Ateca Williams, whom Hutchinson appointed as deputy chief of staff for internal operations in July.

“When I ran for the legislature I wanted to help create jobs, lower taxes, and improve education. Fighting this fight and representing my neighbors in Franklin, Madison, and Crawford counties in the legislature has been the highest privilege of my life. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to do so,” Gossage said. “Now, these causes take me in a different direction. I am honored to have the opportunity to work for Governor Hutchinson as he continues to move Arkansas forward with more high paying jobs, less taxes, and greater opportunities for all Arkansans.”

Rep. Bill Gossage, R-Ozark
Rep. Bill Gossage, R-Ozark

Gossage’s appointment creates a void in the District 82 race. A Democrat did not seek the post, and Gossage was, prior to today, the only person on the November ballot for the seat. According to the Governor’s office, the Republican Party of Arkansas will select someone to replace Gossage on the November ballot. Lauren Montgomery with the Republican Party of Arkansas said the RPA’s chairman, Doyle Webb, will call an executive committee meeting, with the date still to be determined. Members of that committee will set a filing period and filing fee, and then a convention will vote on a nominee and certify the results.

The creation of the two positions followed the departure of Jon Gilmore, former deputy chief of staff. Hutchinson’s chief of staff, former state Sen. Michael Lamoureux, R-Russellville, left his position in May and was replaced by Alison Williams.

In addition, Hutchinson named Katie Beck, his executive assistant who also serves as his liaison with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, as the new director of state-federal relations. That position last was held by Williams. Beck will move to Washington, D.C. to fulfill those duties.

Beck will be replaced as executive assistant by Alisha Curtis, Hutchinson’s director of operations and special projects and executive assistant to the chief of staff.