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Sooner Simmons

Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.) promotes veteran Communications Director Brook Simmons to legislative director.

Simmons — whose new title is director of policy and communications — first joined the Senior Senator from Oklahoma as deputy press secretary in 1991.

The 35-year-old from Ardmore, Okla., has also worked for Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) and for the American Sportfishing Association.

A 1989 graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Simmons began his career as a reporter for Sooner State newspapers.

He replaces Steve Moffitt, who recently moved over to the Department of Defense (See Morning Business, Jan. 30).

Timing Turner. Lone Star State native Rachel Redington has joined the office of Rep. Jim Turner (D-Texas) as scheduler.

Prior to coming to the Hill, the 28-year-old Redington was director of scheduling and advance for the Tony Sanchez for Governor campaign. She has also worked in business development for an advertising firm in Austin.

A veteran of the Clinton White House —where she served in the president’s scheduling office and in intergovernmental affairs — Redington earned a bachelor’s in journalism from Texas A&M University.

Helping Hatch. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has added a few new faces to his staff.

Adam Elggren arrives as communications director, replacing Christopher Rosché, who left Capitol Hill last year for a private-sector job.

The former aide to retired Rep. Jim Hansen (R-Utah) earlier worked as a

reporter for a Beehive State newspaper, where he was recognized with an award from the Utah Press Association.

A Utah native, Elggren holds a 2000 law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

New Legislative Assistant Jace Johnson covers transportation and telecommunications issues, among others.

The one-time director of finance for Corvis Corporation has also worked for VISA InterActive. Johnson, who hails from Idaho, is a former Hatch staffer.

He holds a master’s in business administration from George Washington University.

Mark Carlson is Hatch’s new health policy fellow.

The practicing cardiac electrophysiologist is professor and vice chairman in the Department of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University and the University Hospitals of Cleveland.

Carlson, who has authored articles for scientific journals and textbooks, earned his medical degree from the University of Kansas.

Bayou State Staffers. The Washington office of Rep. David Vitter (R-La.) gets a boost, acquiring three district natives and promoting two aides.

Long-time Legislative Director Kyle Ruckert gets the nod to become chief of staff.

Ruckert earlier served as Rep. Mac Thornberry’s (R-Texas) military legislative assistant on the House Armed Services Committee and worked in the office of then-Rep. Bob Livingston (R-La.).

The Metairie, La., native holds a 1996 bachelor’s in political science and history from Tulane University.

After spending a year-and-a-half as scheduler to Vitter, Lynnel Brocato moves up to legislative assistant.

The one-time staffer for the Energy and Commerce Committee has also worked for Baker APS, a pharmacy automation company.

A graduate of the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Brocato earned a bachelor’s in public relations.

Hailing from the Big Easy, Nancy Wilson arrives in the office as staff assistant.

Wilson, who majored in Spanish and political science, is a University of the South at Sewanee graduate.

New Legislative Correspondent Zak Baig comes to the office fresh from a stint with Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

The communication and political science major attended Syracuse University. He is from Ponchatoula, La.

Amanda Mayer comes on board as scheduler.

Mayer, who holds a bachelor’s in mass communication from Louisiana State University, earlier worked at Smith, Bucklin and Associates and in the law offices of John T. O’Rourke.