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Doug Jones names only African American chief of staff in Senate Democratic offices

  • January 02, 2018

WASHINGTON — Alabama Sen.-elect Doug Jones announced his top leadership team Tuesday, including the only African-American chief of staff in a Senate Democratic office this Congress. 

Jones, who is scheduled to be sworn in Wednesday, named Dana Gresham, a former assistant secretary for governmental affairs at the Department of Transportation, as his chief of staff. Gresham, a Birmingham native, also served as chief of staff for former Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala.

Soon after defeating Republican Roy Moore last month, Jones said he was committed to diversity in his office. African Americans are credited with helping the Democrat win in ruby red Alabama. 

“I’m going to commit to having a Senate office, both in my state and in D.C. that reflects the diversity of Alabama,” Jones said on CNN’s State of the Union. “I want to make sure that I have the best staff available. It will absolutely reflect the diversity of the state of Alabama. I’m not going to get bogged on the numbers, but I can promise everyone that we’re going to represent the entire state of Alabama.”

Read More: Groups push for more diversity among top Senate staffers

More: Doug Jones certified as winner of Alabama special election

Groups that had been pushing for diversity among congressional offices praised Jones’ move Tuesday.

“This is an important moment in the movement to make the Senate truly representative of all Americans,” Don Bell, director of the Black Talent Initiative at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, said in a statement.

The National Urban League, the Senate Black Legislative Staff Caucus and other groups have called on Senate leaders to step up efforts to address the lack of diversity among top staffers.

The groups have urged Republicans and Democrats to make it a priority this Congress.

Only Republican Sens. Tim Scott of South Carolina and Jerry Moran of Kansas have an African-American chief of staff.

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  • Lisa McNair, sister of one of the four girls killed4 of 25
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  • Lisa McNair, sister of one of the four girls killed6 of 25
  • Frannie James talks with Connor Welch during an election-night7 of 25
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  • Senate candidate Roy Moore greets his great nephew9 of 25
  • Sarah Tate bows her head while praying during the Roy10 of 25
  •  A supporter of democratic U.S. Senatorial candidate11 of 25
  • Supporters await the arrival of Republican Senatorial12 of 25
  • Roy Moore, Republican senate nominee, rides his horse13 of 25
  • Roy Moore, Republican senate nominee, ties up his horse14 of 25
  • David Watson waves in a Santa suit as he holds a Doug15 of 25
  • Supporters of U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones gather16 of 25
  • Demonstrators dressed in the Handmaiden's Tale costume17 of 25
  • U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones greets supporters18 of 25
  • Voters wait in line to cast their ballot at a polling19 of 25
  • Protesters stand outside and scream No Moore after20 of 25
  • Voters wait in line to cast their ballot in Birmingham,21 of 25
  • Voters wait in line to cast their ballot at a polling22 of 25
  • Voters wait in line to cast their ballot at a polling23 of 25
  • Protesters stand outside and scream No Moore after24 of 25
  • Voters wait in line to cast their ballot at a polling25 of 25

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