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Majority Whip Gets New Chief of Staff in the New Year

Scalise will get a new top aide in the new year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Scalise will get a new top aide in the new year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In the office of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, the year-end scramble will involve a personnel transition in the very senior ranks.  

Lynnel Ruckert, who has served as the Louisiana Republican’s chief of staff since he won a special election to the House in 2008, is leaving Capitol Hill after 14 years total as a GOP aide.  

She’ll be handing the reigns over to Brett Horton, Scalise’s current floor director. “He’s very steady in his approach, very respected, somebody you can trust,” Scalise said of Horton in an interview with Roll Call Thursday. “Especially in the whip operation, you’re in constant contact with the members, and their chiefs of staff, so having a chief who’s approachable and reaches out to other chiefs so people know what’s going, know what they’re looking for in the policy that comes to the House floor, is incredibly important.  

“[Horton’s] already has got those skills and trust level and I think he’s gonna step in and do a great job,” he added.  

Scalise also praised Ruckert, whom he said helped him achieve major legislative and professional milestones since he came to Capitol Hill with her ever-present “drive and commitment.”  

“The chief role around here is, ‘you’re a generalist,'” Ruckert said later on Thursday of Horton, who sat beside her on a couch patterned with the New Orleans’ fleur-de-lis. “I think his background in policy and the floor shop will definitely be well-suited.”  

“I’ve spent the last year-and-a-half trying to figure out where we’re gonna have 218 and what it’s gonna take to get there,” Horton told Roll Call as Ruckert nodded in agreement. “I know what the floor team is going to be dealing with, and I’ve seen kind of the way the whole office really comes together to try to figure out what’s the creative solution, the conservative solution, that’s going to make our team really function as a team.”  

Ruckert and Horton represent two generations on Team Scalise.  

Flashback: McCarthy, Scalise Win House GOP Leadership Elections 

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