A Great Day for Rob McKenna's Gubernatorial Aspirations?

By Sandeep Kaushik May 18, 2009

This e-mail (subject line: "A Great Day") just got forwarded to me: well know Republican political consultant and commentator Randy Pepple (who has been a regular on King 5's Sunday public affairs show, "Up Front") e-mailed firends and colleagues this afternoon to announce he is giving up his communications consulting position to take a position as Attorney General Rob McKenna's new chief of staff. He will replace current chief of staff Mike Bigelow, who is retiring on June 30.

Pepple is a former chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Rick White, and is known around town as a smart, savvy political operator with a well developed web of connections in Republican insider circles. Adam Wilson of the Olympian, the first to post this news, had the same initial thought I did: given all the chatter about a potential McKenna gubernatorial bid in 2012, the selection of a veteran political operative like Pepple as COS is an indication that McKenna is getting serious about laying the groundwork for a run. McKenna's staff denies any connection, but then again they would, wouldn't they?

Pepple's e-mail is after the jump.

From: Randy Pepple [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Monday, May 18, 2009 1:49 PM
To: 'Randy Pepple'
Subject: It's a great day

Please excuse the informality of a mass email, but this is the most efficient way to share with my family, friends and colleagues the news about the next step in my professional life.

This morning I had the honor of being announced as the new Chief of Staff to Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna. Rob is not only a friend since our days at the University of Washington, he is also the leader of one of the nation’s most active Attorney General’s Offices – and I look forward to joining this fine team.

It was a bittersweet decision to set aside Pepple Communications after the challenging (and fun) clients and projects I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the last 18 months. However, the opportunity to partner with someone of Rob’s caliber as he continues to have an impact on public policy, not just in Washington State but across the country, was just too great an opportunity to pass up.

I will start in this position on June 1, and have the good fortune to get to work with current Chief of Staff Mike Bigelow for the first month on the job. He is retiring after more than 30 years of government service, and I’m sure there is much that he will be able to pass on to me during this period which will allow me to keep the team he has helped assemble moving forward as Rob’s second term as Attorney General progresses.

I will have new contact information to share in June, but I will keep my personal email (XXXXXXXXXX) and mobile phone (XXXXXXXX) active, so please keep them in your contacts list.

To all of you – but especially my valued clients – I’ve appreciated your support of the launch of Pepple Communications. I look forward to seeing and hearing from you as I embark on this new journey.

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