Rose Taps Former Congressman Hilleary for Chief of Staff

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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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.
Photo “John Rose and Van Hilleary” by John Rose. 

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3 Thoughts to “Rose Taps Former Congressman Hilleary for Chief of Staff”

  1. Kalee

    Great choice! Really good man who knew how to “term-limit” himself. Serve, then go home.

  2. Ralph

    Smart move – get someone that knows the system and the “ground truth” for how things get done in Washington DC.

  3. Stuart I Anderson

    Rose as the new congressman from the Sixth District is someone conservatives should watch carefully. He was a No Record Candidate who won with only 41% of the votes in this no runoff state with financial support from Democratic bundlers in the Sixth District. Not the kind of credentials that should give conservatives confidence that Rose can even match Diane Black’s lifetime Heritage score of 77%.

    Van Hilleary was a solid conservative congressman who I financially supported when he ran for governor and then again when he ran for the U. S. Senate. His appointment as Rose’s chief of staff gives conservatives some reason to hope that with Rose there won’t be too much of drop off from Diane’s 77%. It would not hurt, however, if conservatives began thinking of a strong conservative alternative to Rose for the 2020 Republican Primary just in case.