Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today on the floor of the U.S. Senate, announcing changes among the Democratic floor staff. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“2008 brings major changes to our Democratic staff. Just weeks ago, I received the bittersweet news that Marty Paone would be leaving. Marty has served the Senate with distinction for nearly 30 years.
“Marty is a remarkable success story. He began his career in the House post office to help pay his way through graduate school at Georgetown. Later he moved to the Senate parking office before joining the Democratic cloakroom in 1979. With his tremendous intellect and vast knowledge of procedure, it was no surprise that he moved up the ranks to become secretary for the minority in 1995.
“It is no exaggeration to say that every single Democrat – and more than a few Republicans – rely upon Marty’s expertise every day. I am certainly among that group. Nothing happens on the Senate floor – no legislation is considered, no parliamentary procedure enacted – without Marty’s influence.
“I rely upon Marty for more than expertise, but for friendship also. Countless staff has come and go over the years, but Marty has been a constant, steady presence. I am grateful beyond words for the exceptional service of Marty Paone – and for his wife, Ruby, and their children, Alexander, Stephanie and T.J., for sharing him with us generously. Marty is moving on to new challenges. We will miss him, we wish him nothing but the best, and we know that he will be a tremendous success.
“Though we are sad to say goodbye to Marty, I am pleased to announce that Democrats have chosen Lula Davis as our new Democratic Secretary. Lula, too, is a long-time veteran of this chamber, with more than 25 years of Senate service. That service began in the office of the legendary Russell Long of Louisiana. Since 1993, Lula has been a member of the Democratic floor staff. In 1997, she was elected as the first woman ever to serve as Assistant Democratic Secretary. Much like Marty, Lula has risen to become indispensable to all of us. Lula has big shoes to fill, but I cannot think of a more capable person to take on this crucial role.
“Replacing Lula as Assistant Democratic Secretary will be Tim Mitchell. Tim has served as Floor Assistant to the Democratic Leader, where he has become a leading expert on floor procedure and legislative process. With 16 years of Hill experience – as a policy advisor for the Democratic Policy Committee, Research Director for Senator Daschle, and a Legislative Assistant on the Senate Banking Committee – Tim could not be better prepared to assume his new responsibilities.
“Finally, I am pleased to announce that Jacques Purvis, a member of our floor staff, will take on Tim’s role as Floor Assistant. A Howard University Fellow, Jacques began his career in my personal office. He has shown enormous skill and has a bright future ahead of him.”