Cole shifts chief of staff to NRCC

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) has moved Pete Kirkham, the chief of staff of his personal office, to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), where he will become the executive director. House Republicans recently chose Cole to take over the chairmanship of the NRCC from outgoing Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.) after one of the largest GOP electoral losses in recent history.

“Pete has been an instrumental part of my staff in the personal office and I have every confidence in his ability to take over as the executive director of the NRCC,” Cole said.

Kirkham has served as Cole’s chief of staff since June 2003. He previously worked as a legislative director for Reps. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.) and Sam Graves (R-Mo.), as well as now-ex-Reps. Wes Watkins (R-Okla.) and Herb Bateman (R-Va.).

“I am honored that Tom has given me this opportunity,” said Kirkham. “I am committed to helping Tom do everything we can to make the NRCC responsive to members and to winning back our majority.”

Kirkham will take over a position held by Cole during the 1992 elections, when Republicans gained seats in the House even though then-President George H.W. Bush lost his reelection bid.