News & Politics

Terry McAuliffe Is Packing His Cabinet With Virginia Political Veterans

Virginia’s next governor is new to public office, but his team has plenty of statehouse experience.

New to government service, Virginia Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe is hiring a team with a lot of experience in Richmond. McAuliffe today appointed longtime Virginia political operative Paul J. Reagan as his chief of staff, and announced other cabinet hires with lengthy résumés in state politics.

Reagan, who has been running McAuliffe’s transition operation, has worked for a host of Virginia Democrats. He served as former Senator Jim Webb’s chief of staff, former governor Mark Warner’s communications director from 2001 to 2005, and in other roles for multiple members of Virginia’s delegation in the US House of Representatives. (He’s been camped out at Washington consulting firm McGuire Woods since Webb’s retirement.)

McAuliffe also said he intends to keep Ric Brown on as secretary of finance. Brown, a 40-year veteran of Virginia state government, was first appointed to that post by Tim Kaine, and was retained by Republican Governor Bob McDonnell.

McAuliffe’s deputy chief of staff will be Suzette Denslow, currently chief of staff to Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones. Like McAulffie’s other appointments, Denslow has longstanding ties to the state Democratic party establishment, having previously worked in the administrations of Kaine, Warner, and Douglas Wilder.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.