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Friday, January 31, 2020

St. Paul, MN - The members of the New House Republican Caucus today announced changes in staff for the upcoming 2020 session. Two new staff, Barbara Thomas Smith and Rachel Gasterland, have been hired following the retirement of Andy Gildea, Research Consultant, and Chief of Staff. The members are especially grateful to Andy for his service. He helped the caucus thrive with his knowledge of the capitol, law, and the culture of the House.

Rachel Gasterland has been hired as the Communications Specialist for the caucus. Gasterland graduated from the University of Northwestern – St. Paul, where she studied Public Relations. She previously worked for Media Minefield, a PR agency that specializes in media relations. 

Barbara Thomas Smith has been hired as a Legislative Assistant for the caucus. She has spent her professional life in constituent service at all levels of government, from local to federal issues. Barbara was a Legislative Assistant and Committee Administrator for the GOP caucus of the Minnesota House of Representatives for eight years, including the committees on capital investment, and economic development. She most recently worked for the Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, where she worked extensively with health care privacy issues. She will be the Legislative Assistant for Representatives Jeremy Munson and Cal Bahr for the 2020 Session.

The two new hires join Margaret Martín (who worked for the NHRC last session on constituent service, research, and writing) and Luke Sprinkel who previously served as the Legislative Assistant for all four members. Margaret, who has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan, will serve as the Researcher and Staff Coordinator for the caucus. Luke has a degree in Criminal Justice from Regent University and previously worked for the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office. He will be the Legislative Assistant for Representatives Steve Drazkowski and Tim Miller for the 2020 Session.

The NHRC is led by Rep. Steve Drazkowski (Republican-Mazeppa). It includes Rep. Cal Bahr (Republican-East Bethel), Rep. Tim Miller (Republican-Prinsburg), and Rep. Jeremy Munson (Republican-Lake Crystal).