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Doolittle Shuffles Staff

Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.) has promoted one longtime aide to chief of staff and hired a new leadership director for the office of House Republican Conference secretary, the leadership position Doolittle holds.

Richard Robinson has been promoted to Doolittle’s senior aide. Robinson has been affiliated with the Congressman since 1990, when he was in college and worked on Doolittle’s first Congressional campaign. He was then hired as a field representative for the district office in 1991 and was promoted to district director the following year. In 2002, he took over as deputy chief of staff.

Robinson calls Auburn, Calif., home, and he holds a bachelor’s from California Polytechnic Institute and a master’s from Stanford University. In a statement, Doolittle praised his longtime staffer, calling him “politically astute and tremendously hard working.”

Dan Blankenburg takes over as leadership director for the office of Conference secretary. Although he most recently worked for the National Federation of Independent Business as its director of legislative affairs for the House, he has a good deal of experience within the House itself.

Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Ill.) gave Blankenburg his first job, bringing him on board as a staff assistant. He then moved to the office of then-Rep. Tom Ewing (R-Ill.), where he served as a legislative assistant. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) next hired him as legislative director.

Blankenburg hails from Downer’s Grove, Ill., and holds a bachelor’s in history and speech communication from Bradley University.

Hill Veteran Retires. Jon Deuser, who has served on Capitol Hill for 14 years, is leaving for the private sector. Most recently, Deuser spent four years as the chief of staff for Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.).

Before taking over as the top aide for Bunning, Deuser spent eight years as his legislative director in both the House and the Senate. In that role, Deuser focused on issues related to taxes, financial services and health care. He has worked for Kentucky’s other Senator as well; he spent almost two years in the office of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) as a legislative aide and personal assistant.

“I started with Sen. McConnell in 1987 as a six-week intern and had never done anything ‘political’ except vote,” Deuser reminisced. “But I caught the bug and he is a great, encouraging mentor to young politicos. … We’re still good friends.”

Deuser, who is leaving the Hill as of Friday, has greatly enjoyed his time around the Capitol. “I worked for a U.S. Senator who is also in the Baseball Hall of Fame,” Deuser said, referring to Bunning. “I’ve been lucky enough to work for the two most important Republicans from Kentucky over the last half-century. … It has been a professional dream come true.”

Deuser, 39, calls Louisville, Ky., home. He holds a bachelor’s in English and history from Indiana University and a law degree from the University of Virginia.

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