Republican congressional exec quits for private work

WASHINGTON: National Republican Congressional Committee executive director Jim Wilkinson is about to quit his post and has announced his intention to move to the corporate or agency PR world.

WASHINGTON: National Republican Congressional Committee executive director Jim Wilkinson is about to quit his post and has announced his intention to move to the corporate or agency PR world.

WASHINGTON: National Republican Congressional Committee executive director Jim Wilkinson is about to quit his post and has announced his intention to move to the corporate or agency PR world.

Wilkinson had previously admitted interest in serving in a Bush administration.

But he noted that there would be 'a long, long line for those jobs.'

'It's much more likely that I will move into corporate communications or to a PR agency,' he added.

Wilkinson moved from his post of press secretary to House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) to the NRCC position earlier this year. During that time, DC's K-Street crowd of lobbyists and PAC directors were still discounting GOP chances to hold their majority. While numerous factors account for the GOP's eventually retaining control of the House, Wilkinson's team-oriented approach and aggressive work at promoting local developments in House races drew compliments from GOP insiders such as former NRCC chairman Bill Paxon.

Erik Smith, Wilkinson's counterpart at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Com-mittee, is expected to leave too. His plans are also undecided.

Wilkinson and Smith's announcements are the thin end of the wedge, as movement is expected to start snowballing soon on Capitol Hill when the new administration finally takes office.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott's press secretary John Czwartacki has just joined the small but influential public affairs and campaign consulting firm of Greener & Hook. His replacement has not been named.

House Ways & Means (W&M) Committee chairman William Archer (R-TX) is retiring, and the future of W&M communications director Trent Duffy is up in the air.

A former lobbyist, Duffy has close connections to the Bush apparatus.

His former boss on W&M was Bush campaign senior spokesperson Ari Flesicher.

Duffy also spent part of the fall on a leave of absence working at the Republican National Committee's Victory 2000 group.

Duffy will wait and see what assistance the new W&M chairman will want, but he is reportedly interested in surveying opportunities outside politics too. His background in tax legislation will prove a strong asset should he decide to enter PR or lobbying.

House Commerce Committee communications director Steve Schmidt may also be seeking a new job because the chairman, Tom Bliley (RVA), is retiring.



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