Brenna Findley to be Branstad's legal counsel

Governor-elect Terry Branstad announced yesterday that Brenna Findley will be his administration’s legal counsel. Findley was bound to get a good job in state government, given the national and state Republican money behind her candidacy for attorney general, and the way Branstad promoted her all year long. He also appeared in one of Findley’s television commercials, which he did not do for other down-ticket Republican candidates.

I had heard rumors Findley might be put in charge of the Iowa Department of Public Safety, since her commercials in the attorney general’s race had a strong public-safety angle. On the other hand, the Iowa Senate has to confirm heads of state departments, and some might have questioned Findley’s qualifications for that kind of position.

Findley doesn’t have much experience in the practice of law, but Branstad doesn’t need state senators to confirm his staff appointees. Before running against Attorney General Tom Miller, Findley served as Representative Steve King’s chief of staff for seven years. Earlier this year, she joined a law firm run by former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker and State Representative Chris Hagenow, who (like Findley) are both potential Republican candidates for higher office. Branstad’s press release announcing his choice of Findley is after the jump.

Branstad press release of December 13:

(URBANDALE) – Gov.-elect Terry Branstad today announced that Brenna Findley will serve as legal counsel in the Branstad/Reynolds administration.

“Brenna Findley has a talented, sharp legal mind and her knowledge and work ethic will be valued in my administration,” said Branstad. “Her work in private sector, combined with her extensive governmental experience at the federal level, provides a strong framework to serve as legal counsel in my administration.”

Findley, 34, is from Dexter, and a graduate of Drake University, with B.A. in Political Science and History, and a minor in Russian. From there, Findley went on to earn her law degree at the University of Chicago Law School, where she served as symposium editor of the school’s law journal. Additionally, she helped entrepreneurs on Chicago’s south side start their own businesses.

Upon graduation, she worked in private practice prior to serving as chief of staff to Congressman Steve King, R-Kiron. Findley is currently counsel in private practice with Whitaker Hagenow GBMG.

“I’m excited to serve in a meaningful way, helping find solutions for the state by serving in the Branstad-Reynolds administration, and I look forward to serving the people of Iowa in this position,” said Findley. “I share the governor’s commitment to open, honest and transparent government, and will work every day to ensure the goals of this administration are met.”

  • Interesting choice

    Findley could be a candidate for office in the future.  I think if she were to run for Congress her positions on the issues may come under more scrutiny.  I think the lack of spotlight on the issues if some of the “lesser” statewide offices may have led to Mauro’s defeat for example.  I think a lot of elderly Republicans will also grow annoyed with the concept of having to remember your id to a voting booth, not to harp on the SoS race too much.  

    • I'll be very surprised

      if she doesn’t run for some office again someday. Dallas County should get a new Iowa House and Senate seat after redistricting. Dexter is currently in the district Kent Sorenson just won, but there may be an opening for Findley to run for the state legislature before too long.

      If Latham loses in 2012, maybe Findley could run in the third Congressional district in 2014. I don’t see Steve King retiring anytime soon.  

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