By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
U.S. Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville on Thursday announced the hiring of several senior staff members, including those with Alabama roots and Capitol Hill experience.
Tuberville announced Bradley Hayes as legislative director, Ryann DuRant as communications director, Jessica Newman as administrative director, Mary Blanch Hackney as chief counsel and policy adviser and Mike Albares as senior policy adviser. Earlier this month, Tuberville named Stephen Boyd as chief of staff.
Together, Tuberville and Boyd compiled a senior staff team that has a combined 70 years of Washington experience, with service for nine different members of Congress and two presidential administrations, according to a news release announcing the hires.
“This is a team that knows Alabama and knows how to get things done in Washington,” Tuberville said. “Our staff is going to be accessible to the people we represent, and aggressive in our fight for traditional conservative values and the people of Alabama.”
Hayes, a Mobile native, currently vice president of external affairs at the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation and has recent stints with the Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency. He previously worked as a senior attorney for former U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions on the Senate Judiciary Committee and as director of congressional and public affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
DuRant comes to the Tuberville office from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, where she works as senior adviser for internal communications. She previously spent eight years as a Capitol Hill communicator, including with Majority Whip John Cornyn and Georgia Congressman Austin Scott.
Newman most recently worked in the U.S. Department of Education as special assistant to Secretary Betsy DeVos. She previously worked on Capitol Hill as scheduling director in Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and at the Heritage Foundation.
Hankey is a Shoals native and Cumberland School of Law graduate who has worked in legal positions in Washington for several years. She worked as Sessions’ legislative counsel and had multiple leadership roles at the U.S. Dept. of Justice, including most recently as deputy attorney general of the Office of Legislative Affairs.
Albares is a Dothan native who has worked on Capitol Hill since 2010, serving at every level in U.S. Rep. Martha Roby’s office, including most recently as her chief of staff. Albares is known in Alabama and Washington circles for his acumen in agriculture policy, where much of his work for Tuberville will be focused.
Unlike Alabama’s two newly-elected congressmen in the first and second districts, Tuberville does not inherit an office already filled with potential Republican staffers. Because Democratic and Republican staffers rarely cross pollinate, Tuberville started from scratch staff wise.
In previous interviews with Alabama Daily News, the former coach has emphasized the importance of hiring staff members with Alabama roots and Washington experience, acknowledging that as someone new to politics and governing he would need the help of seasoned professionals. In all, the Tuberville office will employ as many as 40-50 people between the Washington and Alabama-based locations.