Veteran political spokesman and native Arkansan Judd Deere is joining his old White House boss as communications director for Sarah Huckabee Sanders in her campaign for governor of Arkansas.
Deere, who was deputy press secretary to Sanders when she was communications director for former President Donald J. Trump, was most recently deputy chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tennessee.
A graduate of Lyon College in Batesville who grew up in Benton, Deere previously worked for Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho and John Boozman of Arkansas. In a 10-year career, Deere also served Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.
Sanders named Deere and a number of other former Trump administration officials as top campaign leaders on Monday. Other staff leaders worked for Sanders’ father, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, or other familiar Arkansas political leaders.
On Twitter, Deere said he was glad to be home in Arkansas after five “great years in D.C.,” and proud to be joining his friend in her campaign. “I am humbled by the confidence and trust Sarah has in me, and I’m excited for the work ahead!”
Sanders said in a statement that she was also excited, pleased to have “assembled this talented group of individuals to help me continue to take my message of bold, conservative reforms to all 75 counties of Arkansas. All of them bring unique experiences and expertise, which makes this campaign, along with our incredible supporters, even stronger.”
Her campaign manager will be Chris Caldwell, former federal co-chair of the Delta Regional Authority and another former Boozman aide. Deputy Campaign Manager Jordan Powell has been a communications adviser, ad maker, and digital expert for gubernatorial, congressional, and issue campaigns across the country. In 2016, Jordan was deputy campaign manager when Mike Huckabee ran for president.
Smackover native Jamie Barker will be Sanders’ political director, a position he once held for the Republican Party of Arkansas. He worked on campaigns for Huckabee and current Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and is a political consultant with JCD Consulting of Little Rock. Megan Turner, a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University, will be the Sanders campaign’s director of accounting and compliance; Cathy Lanier, a fundraiser who grew up in Magnolia and has worked for Griffin, Rutledge and U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, will be finance director.
Little Rock native Alex Flemister will be director of operations. A University of Arkansas graduate, he was an associate director of the White House Office of Public Liaison in the Trump administration. Gretchen Conger, former deputy chief of staff to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, will be a senior adviser. Jack Sisson, a former aide to Huckabee and campaign manager for U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Arkansas, will be policy adviser.