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Posted under: News Change Politics

Sen. Doug Jones Announces Staff Picks, Becomes Only Senate Democrat With Black Chief Of Staff

Jones also tapped Sonceria Ann Bishop-Berry to assist in his transition, a win for minority groups.

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After Doug Jones won his Senate seat over his Republican rival Roy Moore thanks to black voters, much was written about what Jones and his fellow Democrats should do to show black voters that the Democratic Party actually cares about them.

The Washington Post reports that last month, the NAACP and other minority groups wrote a letter to Jones, suggesting that the best way to do that would be to include people of color in key positions on his staff.

“Hiring at least one person of color to your senior staff in Washington would speak loudly, and we ask that you do so among the qualified applicants that you will receive,” letter, which written on behalf of the 17 groups, said. “The lack of diversity among top Senate staff is not caused by a complete absence of strong candidates of color.”

Now, Jones has answered that request by appointing two black Americans with a long history of public service to important posts.

Jones has named Dana Gresham as his Chief of Staff, and has tapped Sonceria Ann Bishop-Berry to advise him during his transition to Capitol Hill, according to the Post.

Gresham brings his experience as an assistant secretary in the Obama Department of Transportation. Prior to that, he worked in the House as a legislative director for Representative Bud Cramer (D-AL) and as chief of staff to Representative Artur Davis (D-AL).

Gresham will be the only black chief of staff working for a Senate Democrat. Two Republican Senators, Tim Scott (SC) and Jerry Moran (KS), have black chiefs of staff, according to the New York Daily News.

Bishop-Berry comes to the team with Senate experience, having worked on the staff of Alabama's last Democratic senator, Howell Heflin.

A 2015 study on diversity in the staffs of senators found that only three out of the chamber's 336 top staffers were black. Adding just two more then, is a big boost to diversity in the Senate.

Photo: GIPHY
Photo: GIPHY

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