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Bredesen names new senior staff members
Brunson to fill Deputy Governor post, Elkins named Legal Counsel

(From a governor's office news release)

Nashville — Governor Phil Bredesen today named Stuart Brunson as Deputy to the Governor and Steve Elkins as Legal Counsel to the Governor.  Brunson replaces outgoing Deputy to the Governor Dave Cooley, who recently announced plans to return to the private sector.  Elkins replaces Bob Cooper, who was appointed Tennessee’s Attorney General and Reporter October 31.

“Stuart has been an important part of my political and public service success. His careful and considered style of management will be invaluable to me as Deputy Governor,” said Bredesen.  “Steve Elkins has proven himself to be a skilled and knowledgeable counsel to me, and I’m pleased that he is stepping into this new role.”

Brunson, a longtime trusted advisor to the Governor, has played a major part in many of Bredesen’s greatest political successes, and most recently led Governor Bredesen’s 2006 re-election effort as his campaign manager. The campaign achieved a historic victory, winning all of Tennessee’s 95 counties and capturing the most votes by a gubernatorial campaign in state history. Brunson also served as the campaign manager for Governor Bredesen’s successful 2002 campaign. Following the 2002 election, Brunson served as Deputy Director of Governor Bredesen’s transition team, helping identify people to fill key posts throughout state government. 

“Governor Bredesen has laid out a positive, bi-partisan vision for Tennessee, and I am honored to be a part of the team that will help move his agenda forward,” Brunson said.

Brunson, 39, is a Moscow, Tenn., native.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in English and history from the University of Mississippi, Oxford, a law degree from the University of Memphis, and he attended Vanderbilt University Divinity School. 

Throughout his career, Brunson has developed and managed a wide variety of successful marketing, public relations, and political campaigns. He has worked on the staff of former Vice President Al Gore and Nashville-based companies McNeely Pigott and Fox Public Relations.  Brunson also started and ran his own small business, a consulting firm based in Nashville that specialized in government relations, political affairs, and strategic business development.   Brunson’s appointment is effective in January.

Steve Elkins currently serves as Deputy Legal Counsel in the Governor’s Office. Before joining the administration, Elkins served as research director and comptroller for Governor Bredesen’s successful 2002 campaign. Before that, he served as deputy legal counsel for the Tennessee Democratic Coordinated Campaign.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve Governor Bredesen in this new capacity,” said Elkins. “I very much appreciate the confidence the Governor has shown in me, and I look forward to continuing to work with him and his team to build on the successes achieved over the past four years.” 

Elkins, 33, is a Smyrna, Tenn., native. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and a law degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he graduated summa cum laude.  Elkins appointment is effective immediately.

Stuart Brunson

Steve Elkins

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