By D.E. Smoot
Phoenix Staff Writer
U.S. Rep.-elect Markwayne Mullin began assembling his congressional staff this week, announcing on Tuesday the hiring of a dozen team members.
Five of Mullin’s new hires worked for U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, who announced in June 2011 he would not seek a fifth term. Four others have extensive experience as congressional staffers, three worked for the Westville Republican’s campaign, and another one worked for Mullin as a campaign consultant.
Mullin, who carried all 26 counties that make up the state’s 2nd Congressional District in a three-way race against Democrat Rob Wallace and independent Michael G. Fulks, said he is excited about the team he is putting together.
“We have a great mixture of congressional experience as well as fresh energy and ideas,” Mullin said in a media release. “Our first priority in the office will be to serve the 2nd District of Oklahoma. We will not be outworked when it comes to helping our constituents.”
Karl Ahlgren will leave his position as co-owner and general partner of AH Strategies, a political consulting firm, to serve as Mullin’s chief of staff. Ahlgren served in that capacity under Sen. Tom Coburn during his tenure in the U.S. House and as a field representative for former U.S. Sen. Don Nickles.
Mullin’s campaign manager, Tim Ross, landed a job as the congressman’s deputy chief of communications. Ross worked on several successful campaigns at the federal, state and local levels before hiring on with Mullin. He was chief financial officer for a small trucking company that primarily served the coal industry.
Brittnee Preston and Darrin Munoz were hired to serve as Mullin’s legislative director and legislative assistant. Preston will leave her job as legislative assistant for U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., to join Mullin’s staff as legislative director. Munoz, a U.S. Navy veteran, has served in similar positions for a Wyoming senator and Montana congressman.
Kayla Priehs, who has spent several years on Capitol Hill as a congressional staffer and worked briefly with Oklahoma’s 4th District Rep. Tom Cole when he served as the National Republican Congressional Committee, will serve Mullin as his executive assistant and scheduler in Washington.
Jason Self, who joined Boren’s staff as part of the Wounded Warrior Project, will serve as Mullin’s caseworker for veterans and immigration issues. Vivian Loving, another Boren staffer, will work with Mullin as a caseworker with the Medicare and Social Security advisory committees.
Caseworker Mary Bower will handle the congressman’s academy appointments and grants. Betty Ford, who has worked with southeastern Oklahoma congressmen off and on since 1991, will serve as a caseworker and field representative.
Other field representatives who joined Mullin’s team this week include Deborah Dooley, Peggy McGehee and Johnathan Moyer.
Reach D.E. Smoot at (918) 684-2901 or firstname.lastname@example.org.