Governor-Elect Dino Rossi, Transition Office, State of Washington

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Nov. 9, 2004 (425) 646-7202

Rossi announces transition team & staff

Bellevue, WA – Although the governor’s race isn’t yet decided, Dino Rossi said today he is putting together a transition team and transition staff so he is prepared in case he does win.

“I don’t know if I’m going to win this election,” said Rossi. “But I believe, and former governors Dan Evans and John Spellman have told me, that it’s important to start making preparations now. I fully expect that Christine Gregoire is doing the same thing.

“In a little more than two months from now, the next governor of Washington will be sworn in. With the race so close and the possibility that we could be waiting another week or so before we know the result, I think the only responsible thing to do is to start making plans for what I will do if I become the next governor. I also think it’s important to make this process as open to the public as possible.”

So far Rossi has named the following people to his transition team: Wes Uhlman, Louise Miller, Pat Herbold, John Stanton, Jim Waldo, Norward Brooks, Mike McGavick, Nina Collier, Arch Miller, Gary Ely, Ralph Ibarra, Miles Kohl, Fredi Simpson, Bruce Holmstrom, John Hennessy, John Creighton, John Connors, and Jim West. More people will be added to the transition team later.

Rossi also named the following transition staff members: J. Vander Stoep, transition Chief of Staff; Dan McDonald, transition Budget Director ; John Giese and Afton Swift, transition Personnel directors; Jim Troyer, transition Legislative Affairs Director; and Mary Lane, transition Communications Director. Brief biographies of transition staff members are attached.

Rossi said that if he becomes governor, he will get to work immediately on changing the culture of state government and implementing his Forward Washington agenda, which focuses on improving jobs and the business climate, passing medical malpractice liability reform, making health insurance more affordable and available, improving public education, protecting the most vulnerable, and restoring state parks.

“During the campaign I promised to bring change to Olympia, and I promised to be governor for the entire State of Washington,” said Rossi. “If I become governor, that’s exactly what I will do.”

Rossi transition staff biographies

J. Vander Stoep, Transition Chief of Staff

Vander Stoep is currently a partner with the Chehalis law firm of Vander Stoep Remund & Blinks, and a partner with Washington Advocates, a government affairs and public communications consulting company. From 1991 to 1993, Vander Stoep served as former Sen. Slade Gorton’s Chief of Staff and in 1994 as Gorton’s campaign manager. He also served as co-transition director for Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith in 1996. Vander Stoep’s early political career included serving in the state House of Representatives from 1981 to 1987. Vander Stoep, his wife Ann and their three daughters – Bryn, Beth, and Isabel – live in Chehalis. Vander Stoep has a law degree from the University of Washington and is a graduate of Western Washington University.

Dan McDonald, Transition Budget Director

McDonald was elected to the state Senate from the 48th District from 1984 to 1998, and to the state House from 1978 to 1982. In the Senate he was was elected Majority Leader 1996-1999. McDonald also served as Senate Ways & Means Committee Chairman, 1988-1992; Senate Ways & Means Committee Ranking Republican Member, 1986-87 and 1993-94; and Senate Republican Floor Leader, 1985. McDonald is currently an engineer economist with a Seattle-based engineering firm. He is a member of Rotary, on the Executive Board of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, board member of the Mountain to Sound Greenway Trust, board member of the Washington State Parks Foundation, and board member of TVW. McDonald served as an officer in the U.S. Navy (Seabees) during the Vietnam war. He and his wife, Janie, live in Bellevue, and have two children and five grandchildren.

John Giese and Afton Swift, Transition directors for Personnel

Giese is Senior Vice President with Rockey Hill and Knowlton, the Northwest office of one of the world's largest public relations and public affairs firms. He was a Chief of Staff to former Republican Congressman Rod Chandler, served on the staff of former Republican Governor John Spellman and has worked for a number of governmental agencies including the King County Planning Division, Department of Ecology, Office of Community Development and City of Renton. He was a member of the 2000 Washington State Redistricting Commission and currently serves on the Forest Practices Appeals Board (he was appointed by Governor Locke and unanimously confirmed by the Washington State Senate). He is a University of Washington graduate. He and his wife Diane and son Dylan live in Clyde Hill. John Giese grew up in southwest Washington and is a graduate of W F West High School in Chehalis.

Swift is the current Campaign Manager for the Rossi campaign. He formerly served as Deputy District Director for Congressman Doc Hastings, campaign manager for Norma Smith for Congress in the 2nd District, and Senior Legislative Assistant for Congressman Jack Metcalf. Swift is a native of Moscow, Idaho, and currently lives in Bellevue.

Jim Troyer, Transition Legislative Affairs Director

Troyer is the current Chief of Staff for the state Senate Republican Caucus in Olympia. He was Administrative Assistant for former Congressman Jack Metcalf and Chief of Staff for former Congresswoman Linda Smith. Troyer is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University, and received his law degree from the University of Washington. He is a native Washingtonian and currently lives in University Place.

Mary Lane, Transition Communications Director

Lane is the current Policy & Communications Director for the Rossi campaign. She previously served as Communications Director for the state Republican Party, Research Director for the Slade Gorton 2000 campaign, Public Information Officer for the state House Republican Caucus, and Staff Writer for former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton. Lane is a Seattle native and a graduate of the University of Washington. She currently lives in Seattle.


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