Majority Whip-Elect Steve Scalise Staffs Up

Scalise staffers took stock of his leadership bid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Scalise staffers took stock of his leadership bid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted July 30, 2014 at 5:00am

The new House GOP leadership team is staffing up.  

On Tuesday evening, just days before he officially assumes the rank of No. 3 House Republican with Kevin McCarthy poised to take on the post of No. 2, Majority Whip-Elect Steve Scalise, R-La., released the names of the aides who will either join his office or follow him into his new suite in the Capitol proper.  

Many of the men and women currently on his payroll — either in his personal office or at the Republican Study Committee where he served as chairman — will stay on board, assuming equivalent titles or taking on new ones. The congressman’s current chief of staff, Lynnel Ruckert, will remain part of Team Scalise. She will keep the title she’s held since Scalise was first elected in 2008. Eric Zulkosky, Scalise’s legislative director, will transition to serve as policy adviser and director of member services. And Brett Horton, Scalise’s policy director and counsel for the RSC during Scalise’s tenure there, will be the whip’s counsel and director of floor operations.  

TJ Tatum, the communications director for both Scalise and the Republican Study Committee, will be the deputy communications director.  

Scalise also is bringing in staffers from elsewhere on Capitol Hill, and beyond.  

His new policy director comes from K Street: Bill Hughes, formerly the executive vice president of government affairs at the Retail Industry Leaders Association. It’s a return to the Hill for Hughes. He served as policy director to ex-Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., for six years, before heading across the Rotunda to hold a number of high-ranking positions in Senate offices, including as staff director for the Senate Republican Policy Committee and chief of staff for then-Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas.  

Matthew Bravo, the incoming deputy floor director, comes from the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Before that, he worked for outgoing Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.  

Bravo isn’t the only Cantor alum coming to work for Scalise. Also joining is Nicole Gustafson, who currently works in the majority leader’s office.  

Scalise also on Tuesday revealed the chief of staff selection for his new chief deputy whip, Patrick McHenry of North Carolina. McHenry’s top aide will be Parker Hamilton Poling, who had already been serving in that capacity in McHenry’s personal office.  

According to the release, the Whip Office also will be staffed by:  

Bart Reising, Director of Operations  

Marty Reiser, Legislative Counsel  

Chris Hodgson, Floor Assistant  

Andrew Cavazos, Scheduler  

Megan Becker, Assistant to the Chief of Staff