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Amodei hires chief of staff

New Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., has made his first hire. Lobbyist and former Capitol Hill staffer Rick Goddard starts Monday as chief of staff.

Goddard, 36, has been director of government affairs since 2005 for the Beer Institute, the trade group representing the major breweries. Before that he was projects manager for Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.

A native of Georgia, Goddard is boning up on Nevada. His immediate value to Amodei is that he knows how Congress works, he said.

“Washington DC is a lot about process,” Goddard said. “I understand the legislative process and how things get done. There is the way things get done when you are reading a textbook and there is the real way how things get done. As far as anything he needs I can walk him through that process.”

Amodei still is mulling candidates for other key staff posts, including district director and legislative director.

The freshman also awaits his House committee assignments. While not final, it appears he may end up on the Judiciary Committee, a hotbed for compelling and controversial issues such as immigration policy and civil liberties, and the Resources Committee, which handles public lands matters of natural interest to his sprawling district.

Goddard began work in Congress in 2000 as a legislative aide to Rep. Robin Hayes, R-N.C., He joined then-Rep. Saxby Chambliss in March 2001, and moved to the other side of Capitol Hill when Chambliss was elected senator in 2002.

Goddard’s father is a retired Air Force major general who commanded the Warner Robins Air Logistic Center at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. In 2008, Richard Goddard was a Republican candidate for Congress from Georgia, defeated by incumbent Democrat Jim Marshall.

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