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Sanders announces senior staff members

by Michael R. Wickline | November 29, 2022 at 1:15 p.m.
FILE — Governor-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders talks to supporters on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)

Gov.-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday announced the appointment of four senior staff members.

They include:

  • Deputy Chief of Staff Judd Deere, who joined Sanders' campaign as communications director and has continued in the same capacity for the governor-elect's transition office. He is a former White House deputy press secretary for President Donald Trump, and worked for U.S. Sen. John Boozman, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin for Arkansas' campaign in 2014.
  • Deputy Chief of Staff Kelly Eichler, who served as policy director under Gov. Asa Hutchinson and as a criminal justice advisory to then-Gov. Mike Huckabee. She currently serves on the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees.
  • Chief Legal Counsel Andrew "Vu" Ritchie, who is serving as deputy director of the transition and served as general counsel to Sanders' campaign. He formerly worked for Gov. Asa Hutchinson and U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton.
  • Director of Public Affairs Jordan Powell, who served as deputy campaign manager for the Sanders' campaign and is currently external affairs director in the transition. He served as deputy campaign manager for Huckabee's presidential campaign in 2016.

"Arkansans can be 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 in a news release.

“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,” she said.

Deere said the salaries for the positions haven't been determined.

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