The Corner

Priebus Appoints Ayers to Transition Team

The new chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, has announced his transition team. Former GOP chairman Ed Gillespie will head the transition — an interesting choice, given that Gillespie supported Maria Cino in the campaign.

More intriguing, however, is the choice of Nick Ayers as transition director. Ayers was chief of staff of the Republican Governors’ Association during Mississippi governor Haley Barbour’s time at the helm. Because Priebus won the early endorsement of Henry Barbour (the governor’s nephew), blogger Dan Riehl speculated that Priebus would appoint Ayers political director of the RNC in preparation for a Barbour presidential run. Priebus told NRO the allegation was nonsense. But it seems Ayers will play a role in the newly staffed RNC — at least for now.

UPDATE: National Journal’s Reid Wilson tweets: More interesting about RNC announcement: That Nick Ayers will NOT take a job w/ the committee. Didn’t want to appear too Barbour-centric.

See the full statement below.#more#


WASHINGTON – Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus released the following statement announcing the RNC transition team charged with implementing the plan to restore faith in Republican donors and communicate with the American public.

The team consists of Ed Gillespie and Nick Ayers who are doing this on a volunteer basis and will not accept any payment or staff positions at the RNC. It will be a 30 day transition period. Priebus also made three appointments to the RNC Executive Committee – Steve King, Henry Barbour and Betti Hill who will serve on the transition team with the full Executive Committee of the RNC.

“When I ran for Chairman of the RNC, I promised to make changes and begin the outreach process with key Republican donors. Today, I am honored to announce the team that will help ensure Republicans have a top-notch ground game in the 2012 election cycle. Together, we will build on our success in 2010 and take back the White House and the United States Senate.” – RNC Chairman Reince Priebus


Transition Chairman

Ed Gillespie – A former Chairman of the Republican National Committee and Counselor to President George W. Bush, Gillespie is one of the top political strategists in the country.

“It is incredibly important for the Republican National Committee to have the resources to compete with the Democrats in the 2012 cycle. Together, this team will take the necessary steps to have significant Republican gains in 2011 and 2012. I am honored to be a part of this important process to build our Party and reach out to GOP donors and grassroots in the coming weeks and months.”  – Ed Gillespie

Transition Co-Chairmen

Steve King – A successful Wisconsin businessman, Steve King is a former chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin and became National Committeeman from Wisconsin in 2007.

Henry Barbour –Barbour has worked in Republican Party politics for years and now serves as the National Committeeman for the Mississippi Republican Party.

Betti Hill –Hill is a member of the Montana Republican State Central Committee as the National Committeewoman. She has served on numerous statewide campaigns and is currently a member of the Lewis & Clark County Republican Women.

Transition Team Members

Reince Priebus

Sharon Day, NCW Florida

Demetra DeMonte, NCW Illinois

Tony Parker, NCM District of Columbia

Bruce Ash, NCM Arizona

Mary Buestrin, NCW Wisconsin

Jim Bopp, NCM Indiana

Louis Pope, NCM Maryland

Jan Staples, NCW Maine

Alec Poitevint, NCM Georgia

Ruth Ulrich, NCW Louisiana

Jeff Kent, NCM Washington

Miriam Hellreich, NCW Hawaii

De Carlson, NCW Nebraska

Pete Ricketts, NCM Nebraska

Joyce Lyons Terhes, NCW Maryland

Bill Crocker, NCM Texas

Cindy Costa, NCW South Carolina

Sharon Giese, NCW Arizona

Bruce Hough, NCM Utah

Transition Director

Nick Ayers – Ayers is the former Executive Director of the Republican Governors Association that deployed more than 100 million dollars in 37 gubernatorial races.

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