Sen.-elect Doug Jones (D-Ala.) has picked a Black chief of staff to run his office, making him the only Senate Democrat to do so.
It was announced that the recently elected Senator from Alabama had picked Dana Gresham, a Capitol Hill veteran, following pressure on Jones to pick a person of color. The black vote was key to Jones’ recent slim victory in the Senatorial election to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ seat.
“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,” more than a dozen groups wrote in a letter to Jones, according to the Washington Post. “The lack of diversity among top Senate staff is not caused by a complete absence of strong candidates of color.”
Currently, only two Senators have Black chiefs of staffs, and they are Republican: Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas and Tim Scott of South Carolina.
As for Gresham, he is an Alabama native who graduated from Georgetown University. After years as a House of Representative staffer, he became an assistant secretary at the Department of Transportation under the Obama administration.