Incoming House Majority Whip Scalise Names Lieutenants

Image: Incoming House Majority Whip Scalise Names Lieutenants Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La. (Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Landov)

Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 12:41 PM

By John Blosser

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Rep. Steve Scalise, the incoming House Majority Whip, revealed his slate of top team members, chosen to help him deal with issues facing Congress.

Roll Call reported that his chief of staff, Lynnel Ruckert, will remain on board, while Eric Zulkosky will move up to policy adviser and director of member services from his former position as Scalise's legislative director.

Brett Horton, former policy director and counsel for the Republican Study Committee Scalise chaired, will serve as counsel and director of floor operations, and TJ Tatum will remain as deputy communications director.

However, the Louisiana Republican also is reaching outside his legislative office for fresh blood, bringing Bill Hughes from the Retail Industry Leaders Association on board as policy director, Roll Call reported.

Matthew Bravo from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who previously worked for outgoing Majority Leader Eric Cantor, was named as new deputy floor director. Nicole Gustafson, who has been on the majority leader's staff, will come on board with Scalise.

Chief deputy whip will be Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, who will be bringing along his top aide, Parker Hamilton Poling.

Others will include Bart Reising, director of operations; Marty Reiser, legislative counsel; Chris Hodgson, floor assistant; Andrew Cavazos, scheduler; Megan Becker, assistant to the chief of staff; Brenden DeLuke, special assistant; and Tanner Black, special assistant to the chief deputy whip, Roll Call reported.

Scalise, 48, replaces Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, who is taking over as House Majority Leader from Cantor, who was defeated in the Virginia Republican primary.

GOP colleagues already have begun praising Scalise's team's leadership style. Rep. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming told the National Journal that during work on the funding bill to address the border crisis, "They seemed genuinely interested in finding a bill that 218 Republicans could support. And that just tickles me pink."

Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois and a senior member of Scalise's whip team, told National Journal, "Steve promised a change in process during the whip's race. And that's exactly what happened with this bill. At the end of the day, the process of listening first and then drafting the legislation is one that we should look to on a continual basis."

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