Sanders Announces Initial Senior Staff Appointments

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.—Governor-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders today announced several individuals who will make up her senior staff in the governor’s office.

“Arkansans can rest assured that this talented group of individuals who are going to advise me daily as governor have the determination and desire to see our state succeed,” Sanders said. “I’ve known many of them for years, both as colleagues and friends, and each one brings invaluable experiences and expertise to the office. Along with Chief of Staff Gretchen Conger, I am excited to have this team by my side as we work to take Arkansas to the top.”

Senior Staff Appointments:

Deputy Chief of Staff Judd P. Deere joined the Sarah for Governor campaign this summer as Communications Director and has continued in that same capacity in the Governor-elect’s transition office. He is a former White House Deputy Press Secretary for President Donald J. Trump and brings more than a decade of political communications experience at both the national and state levels. Before returning to Arkansas, Judd served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications to U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty (Tenn.). He has also worked for U.S. Senators John Boozman (Ark.) and Mike Crapo (Idaho), as well as Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and the Tim Griffin for Arkansas campaign in 2014. Judd is a Benton native and graduate of Lyon College.

Deputy Chief of Staff Kelly Eichler served as Policy Director for Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and as Criminal Justice Advisor for then-Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. She was appointed by Governor Huckabee to serve a 7-year term on the state Board of Corrections. Prior to government service, she clerked at the Arkansas Court of Appeals, was a Pulaski County Prosecutor, and was in private practice for Rice, Adams and Pace. Kelly currently serves as a University of Arkansas Trustee, appointed by Governor Hutchinson. She is a University of Arkansas and William H. Bowen School of Law graduate.

Chief Legal Counsel Andrew “Vu” Ritchie, who is currently serving as Deputy Director of the transition and previously served as General Counsel to the Sarah for Governor campaign, brings years of legal, legislative, and political experience at both the national and state levels. Vu is a Little Rock native and graduate of the University of Arkansas Walton School of Business, and he received his Juris Doctorate from the William H. Bowen School of Law. Before joining the campaign, Vu worked for U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) as the Senior Advisor for Domestic Policy. During his time in Washington, D.C., Vu also served in the Trump Administration at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid as Senior Advisor in the Office of Administrator Seema Verma. Before moving to Washington D.C., Vu served as legal counsel and senior advisor to Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.

Director of Public Affairs Jordan Powell, who served as Deputy Campaign Manager for the Sarah for Governor campaign and is currently External Affairs Director in the transition, is a campaign strategist who has served as a consultant, communications advisor, ad maker, and digital expert for gubernatorial, congressional, state house, and issue campaigns across the country. He has also served as a press secretary on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. In 2016, Jordan served as Deputy Campaign Manager for former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign.

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