breaking news

Officer in Breaion King arrest facing discipline over new force case

Alabama’s Sen.-elect Doug Jones picks African-American chief of staff

The NAACP and other groups had urged Jones to make diverse hires.


Sen.-elect Doug Jones, D-Ala., has tapped Dana Gresham, a fellow Alabamian who served in the Department of Transportation under President Barack Obama, to become his chief of staff, and former Senate staffer Sonceria Ann Bishop-Berry to advise his transition — a victory for minority groups that had urged Jones to pick African-Americans for key roles. Both Gresham and Bishop-Berry are black. 

Gresham, a Georgetown University graduate, spent more than a decade as a House staffer, working as a legislative director for former representative Bud Cramer and as chief of staff to former representative Artur Davis. He moved from that office to the DOT in 2009, spending eight years as an assistant secretary. 

In the Senate, he'll be the only black chief of staff for a Senate Democrat — a point that the NAACP and other groups made last month when urging Jones to make diverse hires. 

"Hiring at least one person of color to your senior staff in Washington would speak loudly, and we ask that you do so among the qualified applicants that you will receive," 17 groups wrote in the letter. "The lack of diversity among top Senate staff is not caused by a complete absence of strong candidates of color." 

The news that Jones would tap Gresham was quickly celebrated by some of the activists who'd called for Senate staff diversity. 

Bishop-Berry worked with Jones as a staffer for Howell Heflin, Alabama's last Democratic U.S. senator. 

Jones's other top hires, legislative director Mark Libell and deputy legislative director Katie Campbell, are white Alabamians. Campbell formerly served as policy director for the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of fiscally conservative Democrats.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

PolitiFact: Key facts (get it?) are missing in claim about car thefts
PolitiFact: Key facts (get it?) are missing in claim about car thefts

Williamson County’s sheriff posted a warning that led us to check some key facts and find them faulty. Robert Chody, elected in 2016, said in a Dec. 27 tweet: “65,000 vehicles stolen in Texas each year. Almost half of all vehicles stolen in Texas each year had keys left inside. That’s a lot of preventable thefts #TakeKeysWithYou...
Here's what has happened during previous government shutdowns
Here's what has happened during previous government shutdowns

It’s fairly certain the government will shut down. If the Senate doesn’t pass the short-term spending bill —passed earlier by the House — by midnight Friday, it will happen. Under a shutdown, thousands of federal employees would go without pay and national parks would close, among other things.  Here's a look at the key...
Trump cancels Florida trip as government shutdown looms
Trump cancels Florida trip as government shutdown looms

President Donald Trump will not make a planned trip to Mar-a-Lago today because of a looming federal government shutdown, a White House official told The Palm Beach Post on Friday morning. Trump was scheduled to arrive at Palm Beach International Airport tonight for a weekend trip that included a Saturday fundraiser for his 2020 re-election...
Miami’s Haitians, accustomed to being shunned, rally after Trump slight
Miami’s Haitians, accustomed to being shunned, rally after Trump slight

When Jacques Despinosse lost a primary for the Florida House of Representatives in the 1990s, he chalked up his drubbing to the skepticism many voters had for candidates from what was then a relatively small Haitian diaspora.  But since then, Haitian-American politicians have made one electoral stride after another in the state, winning commission...
Kelly’s remarks unsettle a tense alliance at the White House
Kelly’s remarks unsettle a tense alliance at the White House

The one thing sure to make President Donald Trump angry, as anyone who has ever worked closely with him knows, is any suggestion that his staff is managing him.  Yet early Wednesday evening, after learning from a White House aide that his chief of staff, John F. Kelly, had described his views about his signature campaign pledge to build a wall...
More Stories