Alexander Expands, Shuffles Senate Staff

Sen. Lamar Alexander, who has become the top Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, has added staffers to help him with committee work who have ties to former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson and Bill Frist of Tennessee.
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David Cleary, his legislative director, also will be the Republican staff director. Cleary’s background includes serving on the staff of the U.S. House’s Committee on Education and the Workforce under then-Chairman John Boehner, now House speaker.
Mary Sumpter Lapinski, Alexander’s health policy adviser, will serve as health policy director for Republicans on HELP. She was health legislative assistant to Frist from 1999-2001 and a legislative aide to former U.S. Rep. Van Hilleary, R-Tenn., when he represented the 4th Congressional District.
Peter Oppenheim will serve as education policy director and committee counsel. He has been Alexander’s legislative counsel and is a former research assistant to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga.
Lindsey Ward Seidman will serve as senior policy adviser. Seidman has worked for Alexander since his first Senate campaign in 2002 and was policy director in his 2008 Senate campaign.
Michael Merrell will serve as chief counsel. He previously was on the Senate Rules Committee, where he advised Republicans on Senate rules and procedure, election administration and campaign finance. He previously worked for former U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah.
Jim Jeffries will continue to serve as communications director, overseeing press in Alexander’s Senate office and at the HELP committee. Liz Wolgemuth will move from the Senate office to serve as Republican press secretary for the HELP committee. Brian Reisinger, new to the office, will serve as press secretary in Alexander’s office.
In Alexander’s Senate office, Allison Martin will serve as deputy legislative director after serving as projects manager and legislative counsel for nearly two years. She previously worked for Thompson and Frist.

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