WASHINGTON â€”Â 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.Â
Jones, who is scheduled to be sworn in Wednesday, named Dana Gresham, a former assistant secretary for governmental affairs at theÂ 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.Â African Americans are credited with helping the DemocratÂ win in ruby red Alabama.Â
â€œIâ€™m going to commit to having a Senate office, both in my state and in D.C. that reflects the diversity of Alabama,”Â Jones said on CNNâ€™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. Iâ€™m not going to get bogged on the numbers, but I can promise everyone that weâ€™re going to represent the entire state of Alabama.”
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Groups that had been pushing for diversity among congressional offices praised Jonesâ€™ move Tuesday.
“This is an important moment in the movement to make the Senate truly representative of all Americans,”Â 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 aÂ priority this Congress.
Only Republican Sens. Tim Scott of South Carolina and Jerry MoranÂ of Kansas have an African-American chiefÂ of staff.
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