Gov. Hutchinson Names Bill Gossage Deputy Chief of Staff for External Operations

By Paul Gramlich Charleston Express

Arkansas State Representative Bill Gossage, R-Ozark, has been named the new Deputy Chief of Staff for External Operations, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced earlier this week.

Gossage will work in conjunction with Ateca Williams, who was named Deputy Chief of Staff for Internal Operations in July.

Gov. Hutchinson also announced that Katie Beck, current Executive Assistant to the Governor, has been named the new Director of State-Federal Relations.

“Bill has been a longtime friend and adviser, and I have no doubt that his experience in education and his service in the legislature will provide my office with wise counsel and guidance as we approach the 2017 general session,” Gov. Hutchinson said. “Most importantly, though, Bill shares my vision for our state. As a former educator, he led the effort to help pass my landmark computer science education bill because he understands what it takes for our students to compete in a 21st century workplace. I am confident Bill will do an outstanding job in this new role, just as he’s done for his constituents over the years.”

Rep. Gossage was in his second term in the Arkansas House of Representatives, representing District 82, which includes portions of Franklin, Madison, and Crawford counties. He was first elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2012 and was a member of the House Education Committee. Gossage is a retired Assistant Superintendent for the Ozark Public School System with 34 years of experience as an educator.

Serving the people of Franklin, Madison, and Crawford counties was an honor I will forever cherish, Gossage said. “Helping constituents find solutions and navigate the complexities of state government has been my pride and joy over the past four years.”

In these years we were able to accomplish a lot of exciting things, Gossage said. “One of which was the implementation of Governor Hutchinson’s computer science initiative. As the lead sponsor of this ground breaking legislation, I am excited that my new opportunity within the Governor’s administration will allow me to continue advancing this cause.”

Most importantly I wish to thank the citizens of District 82 who trusted me with their vote and consistently offered support and encouragement, Gossage added. “The people of Franklin, Madison, and Crawford counties are truly the finest the state has to offer.”

When I ran for the legislature I wanted to help create jobs, lower taxes, and improve education, Rep. Gossage said. “Fighting this fight and representing my neighbors in Franklin, Madison, and Crawford counties in the legislature has been the highest privilege of my life. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to do so.”

Now, these causes take me in a different direction, Gossage said. “I am honored to have the opportunity to work for Governor Hutchinson as he continues to move Arkansas forward with more high paying jobs, less taxes, and greater opportunities for all Arkansans.”

Although the House is losing a valuable member, the State of Arkansas will gain a true public servant, Rep. Jeremy Gillam, Speaker of the House said. “Representative Gossage is a leader because he helps others grow. That is why I trusted him to chair our House Management Committee. I will miss my colleague and good friend in the Chamber, but I look forward to working with him in his new role to continue to do great things for Arkansas.”

Rep. Gossage will take plenty of experience to his new job. During the 90th General Assembly, he served on the Committee on Education, the Committee on Insurance and Commerce, the Committee on Rules, the Joint Committee on Energy, State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Program Legislative Task Force, is a Member of the General Assembly Appointed to Assist with Boys State, and is the chairperson for the Committee on House Management.

Gossage graduated from Arkansas Tech University with a degree in History and Political Science and earned his Master’s degree from the University of Arkansas.

Gossage is a past president of the Ozark Area Chamber of Commerce and also served as Vice-Chairman of the Ozark Area Friends of the NRA. He previously served as president of the Ozark Area Youth Association.

He and his wife Tonya have one son.

J.R. Davis, spokesman for Gov. Hutchinson said the governor would not call a special election to fill Gossage’s seat for the remaining portion of his term, a decision allowed under state law when a legislative seat becomes vacant within 150 days of the next election.

Gossage had been unopposed for re-election. The state Republican Party can choose a new nominee in a convention, Davis said.

Ozark lawyer Sarah Capp said in a statement that she will seek the District 82 seat. “I value the opportunity to continue representation for those in our district with the same conservative values that Rep. Gossage’s esteemed leadership has served us with the past few years. There are great things happening in our state and I have the compassion and desire to further those accomplishments,” she said.