Several Centennial Staff Shifts

Posted February 6, 2004 at 2:32pm

Staffers for Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) are overhauling the old office phone list as the Senator has made nine staff changes in the past month.

Allard’s former legislative assistant and counsel, Cory Gardner, was recently appointed the Senator’s legislative director and counsel and will also handle agriculture, water and judicial nominations work.

Gardner, 29, is a native of Yuma, Colo. The former communications director with the National Corn Growers Association holds a law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law and a bachelor’s in political science from Colorado State University.

Switching to energy, surface transportation and natural resources legislative issues is Legislative Assistant Mandi McKinley, 27. McKinley, who has been with the office since the fall of 1999, is also a former intern with Centennial State Rep. Scott McInnis (R).

A Durango, Colo., native, McKinley is a 1999 graduate of Fort Lewis College at Durango.

Moving over from her position as legislative assistant for Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-Va.) is Rachel Audi, who will now handle health, labor and Social Security issues as well as serve as a health care policy adviser. Audi, 31, also previously worked as a legislative aide for then-Sen. John Ashcroft (R-Mo.) and was a private business owner before she came to Capitol Hill.

Audi, Cheverly, Md., native, holds a master’s degree from Regent University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland.

Ryan Vitkus, who has worked for Allard since joining the Senator as an office assistant during his 2002 election campaign, has been promoted to deputy legislative assistant on environmental policy issues. Vitkus, 24, hails from Centennial, Colo., and graduated from Westmont College with a bachelor’s in political science.

Former Allard intern Stephen Myers, 23, is the office’s newest deputy press secretary. Myers is also a Centennial, Colo., native who graduated from Westmont. He holds a degree in biology.

Rounding out Allard’s staff changes are a four new constituent correspondents — David McConkie, Ian Lyle, Debbie Ruyle and Alison Monroe — who will help respond to constituent concerns for the Senator.

McConkie, 26, is a former staff assistant for Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.). A Colorado Springs, Colo., native, he graduated from Brigham Young University in 2002 with a degree in woodwind performance. He will specialize in judicial, labor, commerce, health care and small-business issues.

Lyle, 24, is a former Allard intern who also previously worked in the La Plata County, Colo., clerk’s office. Lyle will specifically handle foreign relations, State Department authorizations and foreign operations appropriations for the Senator. The Manitou Springs, Colo., native graduated from Fort Lewis College with a degree in political science.

Ruyle will specialize in Indian affairs and historical preservation for Allard. Another former Allard intern, Ruyle graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in political science. The 28-year-old calls Wray, Colo., her home.

Working to help schedule tours and helping with banking, housing and tax issues is 23-year-old Monroe, who has interned with Allard and Colorado Gov. Bill Owens (R). Monroe is a Boulder native who attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and graduated with a degree in political science.

Hail to the New Chief. Jim Clarke, who had been serving as a field deputy for Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.) in her Los Angeles office, came to Washington last week to take over as the Congresswoman’s chief of staff. [IMGCAP(1)]

Clarke, 55, currently serves as president of the California Democratic Council and is a former executive director of the California Clean Money Campaign. He also previously served eight years as secretary for the California Democratic Party and three years as party chairman in Los Angeles.

Clarke is a San Francisco native who graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Coast Guard Academy in 1970. He also holds a master’s in public administration from California State at Long Beach.