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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

ALGOP spokesman goes to work for top senator

Philip Bryan, communications director for the Alabama Republican Party, started Monday as the chief of staff for Alabama Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh.
Marsh, R-Anniston, said Bryan has the personality to work with people on both sides of the aisle, which is important in the pro tem's office.
But, he also said Bryan had been a "faithful Republican to say the least" helping the party with its Campaign 2010 effort to elect more Republicans to the Legislature and to other offices.
Marsh also commented on Bryan's "work style," and said it was a "fairly easy choice to bring him on."
From working as communications director, Marsh said Bryan also has a "great relationship with the press," which the senator expects to help in conveying what his office is trying to accomplish in the next four years.
Bryan acknowledged he criticized Democrats as spokesman for the party, but said that came along with his job there. He said he will work for all 35 senators as chief of staff for Marsh.
Bryan was the voice for the Republican Party during much of the last four years, often attacking Democrats in the Legislature.
He is now working to win over some of those same Democrats, trying to set up meetings with each of them.
"This will be an office for all 35 senators," Bryan said. " ... I will extend my hand to those Democrats who were elected by the people of Alabama."
Bryan said the party was successful in winning more seats and he did his job there, but has a much different job and goal now.
"We did a great job at the party of doing what the party function should be," Bryan said.
He said he will fulfill his new duties with the same vigor.
Bryan said people are "grown up" and know politics is a contact sport and he hopes people can move forward.
He said he shares Marsh's vision of the office being fair and not being punitive.
Marsh has not hired any other employees, but said he is looking to hire a part-time bookkeeper. He said there was previously a full-time bookkeeper in the office, but that he did not feel that was warranted.
Marsh said he now has one employee in an office that once employed more than 40 people. Some of those employees worked for other senators, but were paid through the pro tem's budget.
"There is a different philosophy to say the least," he said.
Marsh said he is contemplating a position that would deal with policy and look at what other states are working on, especially in areas with challenges such as Medicaid and corrections.
Marsh said he expects all of his staff positions to be filled by the time the regular session starts in March.

-- posted by Sebastian Kitchen

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Location: Montgomery, AL, United States

South Union Street is the blog of Montgomery Advertiser political reporters Markeshia Ricks and Sebastian Kitchen. Always check here for the latest on the Legislature, elections and other activities and players in Alabama.

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