Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

US Senator-elect Doug Jones Hires a Black Chief of Staff

US Senator-elect Doug Jones Hires a Black Chief of Staff

"I just told Doug, 'Be an Alabama Democrat".

After graduating from Samford University's law school in 1979, Jones worked as staff counsel to the Judiciary Committee for Heflin, and Jones still considers Heflin a role model.

Jones made it clear during the campaign that he was opposed to the GOP's efforts to repeal President Barack Obama's signature health care overhaul, the Affordable Care Act. On Tuesday, Jones tipped his hiring hat their way as he heeded their advice to hire people of color to lead his Senate staff, when he announced Dana Gresham would be his Senate Chief of Staff. But what she and the other two hires have in common is that they are Alabama Democrats who know this could be their only chance to work for a Democratic senator from their state.

In the brief ceremony Wednesday, Jones, who carried a family Bible, walked to the front of the Senate chamber with Biden to be sworn in and take the oath of office.

During the Alabama Senate race, the wife of now-defeated Republican candidate Roy Moore cited a Jewish lawyer employed by the couple while defending her husband from accusations of bigotry.


"I'm going to commit to having a Senate office, both in my state and in D.C. that reflects the diversity of Alabama", Jones said on CNN's State of the Union.

That should be good enough for most Democrats everywhere.

But when he walks down the Senate aisle before the ceremony, he'll reportedly be bucking a Senate tradition in favor of an escort from a very special guest. "I tell you all this because I've seen it and also I just want to set the record straight while they're here", she said at a rally podium while presumably waving at the media professionals present.

Kaine drew a comparison between Jones's campaign and Democrat Ralph Northam's winning run for governor in Virginia. He has also worked for Senator Debbie Stabenow of MI, and Representatives Bart Gordon of Tennessee and Linda Sanchez of California. They are Mark Libell as legislative director, Ann Berry, a black woman, as transition advisor, and Katie Campbell as deputy legislative director. She graduated from the University of Alabama and earned a Masters of Public Policy from Georgetown University. Joe Donnelly (Democrat of IN.) and as policy director for the Blue Dog Coalition, will be deputy legislative director.

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