Thursday, May 20, 2010

Jeb Wilkinson to join McDonnell administration

~Department of Conservation and Recreation Deputy Director ~

It was good news when I read the latest round of appointees for the McDonnell administration and saw Jeb Wilkinson's name. They included the official bio, including the fact he is a Navy veteran, but I know Jeb from working with him.

Jeb came on my radar during the 2004 George W. Bush reelection campaign. We had probably crossed paths before that but that is when he cemented himself and remained.

I was the Bush campaign coordinator for the SWAC area in 2004. Because it was the first presidential election after 9/11, we suspected it would be busy so opened GOP headquarters in August (the SWAC area has notoriously opened their headquarters in September before an election). We were amazed and overwhelmed at the sheer numbers of people who came to HQs looking for Bush signs, bumper stickers, literature -- anything to show they were not for John Kerry and the Democrats.

I met Jeb when ordering Bush materials from Richmond, driving over to pick them up and sitting in Jeb's office talking. He went out of his way to help in anyway he could, providing what I wanted (we didn't have enough materials to get everything we needed) and then some.

It's because of Jeb that I met Ann Coulter when she was in Richmond the weekend after election day in November 2004. She was a fantastic speaker and an overall nice person who posed even in the ladies room while combing her hair when someone asked to get a photo of her. That's patience.

Jeb and I have often crossed paths throughout the years since as he's been involved in politics at one level or another. Gov. McDonnell is getting a good, hard-working man in Jeb Wilkinson.

Official announcement:
Jeb Wilkinson served in the Administration of President George W. Bush at the U.S. Department of Labor from 2006 to 2009 as Chief of Staff to the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) at DOL and as a senior aide to Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

Wilkinson served in the Administration of former Governor James Gilmore as a policy analyst in the Department of Human Resource Management where he authored articles for the state employee newspaper Commonwealth Currents and coordinated the Governors Service Awards program in 2001.

From 1985 to 1990 he served in the United States Navy where he was a Surface Warfare Officer (SWO). He served onboard both USS Farragut (DDG-37) where he was the Gunnery Officer and USS Nassau (LHA-4) where he served as Electronic Warfare Officer and as a Public Affairs Officer.
Congratulations, Jeb!

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