Former U.S. Rep. Van Hilleary (R-TN-04) will head back to Capitol Hill next year – as chief of staff to Rep.-elect John W. Rose (R-TN-06) of Cookeville.
A member of the GOP class that swept to power in the mid-1990s, Hilleary represented the Volunteer State until 2003, Roll Call said. (That district is now represented by Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais.)
Hilleary left office to run for Tennessee governor, but lost to Democrat Gov. Phil Bredesen. He ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2006.
“He will bring the Washington know-how to our team, but is not a Washington insider,” Rose said. “He is my friend and I could not be more proud to have him on board. Together, we will work to bring the highest level of service to this office so the people I serve are represented in the fullest manner possible.”
Hilleary is originally from Spring City in Rhea County, the Chattanooga Times Free Press said. Rose, a farmer and small businessman, operates his family’s DeKalb County farm.
Rose ran this year to replace Republican U.S. Rep. Diane Black of Gallatin who ran a campaign for governor. She lost in the GOP primary election.
Rose said he intends to make “timely, effective constituent services the cornerstone” of his service in the 6th Congressional District.
According to Rose, Hilleary as a congressman “built a solid conservative record” in supporting a “strong national defense, balanced budgets, tax cuts, business deregulation, the Second Amendment, and rights of the unborn.”
Hilleary is at the least the second former Congress member who will return as an aide in 2019, the Washington Examiner said. Former U.S. Rep. Ron Barber (D-AZ-08 and -12) will serve as district director for Democratic Rep.-elect Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ-01).
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