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Several former Trump aides prepare campaigns for public office

Almost immediately after the 2020 presidential race was called, political appointees throughout the Trump administration realized it was time to update their resumes and look for new opportunities. As regular readers know, that wasn’t altogether easy.

The Washington Post‘s James Hohmann reported in early December, for example, “Senior executives at a handful of Fortune 500 companies have told me privately over the last year that they would not risk the potential employee blowback that would come from hiring someone closely linked to” Donald Trump.

A month later, in the wake of Trump inciting a riot and dispatching a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol, these Republicans’ employment prospects got worse. Politico reported in early January that many officials, most notably those working in national security, “have been struggling to find new employment.” The Hill further reported in late January that top U.S. companies were eager to “distance themselves” from members of the former president’s team.

As it turns out, there is an alternate path to employment: some of Trump’s former aides may be struggling to find a job in the private sector, but it appears a few members of Team Trump hope to get jobs in elected office. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported yesterday, for example, on Max Miller’s new congressional candidacy.

A former aide to President Donald Trump has announced he will run against Rocky River Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, who voted to impeach the former president after his supporters rioted at the U.S. Capitol in an unsuccessful effort to stop Congress from tallying votes that declared Joe Biden to be president.

Around the same time, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram ran a similar report out of Texas.

The former chief of staff of the Health and Human Services department under Donald Trump announced his run for the U.S. House seat of the late Rep. Ron Wright (R-Texas) on Monday. A special election was scheduled for May after Wright died Feb. 7 after a battle with COVID-19. Brian Harrison, a Republican and Texas native, told the Star-Telegram he will join the race for the Texas 6th Congressional District seat. Harrison was appointed deputy chief of staff of the HHS and promoted to chief of staff in 2019.

Harrison said he’s running, at least in part, because he wants to “keep the Trump movement alive.”

Evidently, he’s not alone. As The Hill noted, the list of Team Trump members eyeing elected office in 2022 is not short:

  • Cliff Sims, the former deputy at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), is eyeing Alabama’s U.S. Senate race. If he runs, he’ll face Lynda Blanchard, another Trump administration official, in a GOP primary.
  • Trump’s Navy secretary, Kenneth Braithwaite, is eyeing Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race, as is Carla Sands, another former Trump administration official.
  • Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is already considered a top contender in Arkansas’ gubernatorial race.
  • Ric Grenell is gearing up for a gubernatorial campaign in California.
  • Katrina Pierson, a former Trump campaign adviser, expressed an interest in a congressional campaign in Texas.

I won’t pretend to know what the former president’s electoral plans are, but whether Trump runs again or not, it appears voters will have plenty of opportunities to vote for former members of his team.

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