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Clerk Could Be Named By Nov.

With Clerk of the House Jeff Trandahl stepping down from his post when Congress adjourns for Thanksgiving, Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) has about a month to decide whom to appoint to fill Trandahl’s shoes.

Hastert spokeswoman Lisa Miller said this week that several recommendations have already been sent to the Speaker from various House offices and “the Speaker is reviewing the candidates and we expect to make an announcement by November.”

“Whoever it is, they will have big shoes to fill,” said House Administration Chairman Bob Ney (R-Ohio). Ney, whose committee oversees the Clerk’s office, called Trandahl “a wonderful person who really knows how to handle things. Working with him has been flawless. He and his people just really dot their i’s and cross their t’s.

“He came in under a storm and in a sense had to be even more effective from the beginning,” Ney said, referring to the controversy surrounding the last days of Trandahl’s predecessor, Robin Carle. Carle resigned the post in November 1998 after the ethics committee received charges accusing her of using a House credit card for personal purchases and using public employees for personal errands. Trandahl was appointed to the position that December.

“It was turbulent and then after he came in everything ran like clockwork,” Ney said. “When Jeff told me he was leaving I was one of the many people who hoped he could stay around for just a couple more years.”

“Jeff restored the integrity of the office, that’s for sure,” said George Shevlin, minority staff director for the House Administration Committee. Shevlin said the Speaker “should really be looking for someone who can serve the House as a whole. [The Clerk of the House] isn’t a position to advocate for a partisan agenda. … It should be one of the more nonpartisan positions in the House.

“Because Jeff has brought so much integrity to the position he’s been able to garner minority support for a lot of projects,” Shevlin said.

When he leaves next month, Trandahl, who joined the Clerk’s office in 1995, will become executive director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a private, nonprofit established by Congress in 1984.