LANSING– Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, today announced the promotion of Majority Counsel Scott Hughes toGeneral Counsel and Deputy Chief of Staff and Jennifer Merchant to Legislative Director. Connor Spalding will officially take over as Deputy Legislative Director and former Representative Amanda Price will serve as District Director for the Senate Majority Leader’s office.
“I am very fortunate to have so many capable and knowledgeable staff who will easily transition to new roles and additional responsibilities. Scott Hughes is an invaluable member of my staff and an asset for our caucus. The addition of ‘Deputy Chief of Staff’ to his list of responsibilities will be a new challenge and one that I am certain he will handle with ease,” said Meekhof.
Scott Hughes started with Senate Majority Leader Meekhof in 2015 as majority legal counsel. He previously worked in private practice. Hughes resides in Byron Center with his wife, Staci, and their three children. Hughes is a graduate of Michigan State University and Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
“Jennifer Merchant has had years of experience in the House and previously worked for the House Floor Leader’s office. She hit the ground running in my office and this new title accurately reflects her skill set,” said Meekhof. “I am happy to be able to recognize her abilities with this promotion.”
Jennifer Merchant began her career in the legislature in 2011 in the office of former Representative Lisa Lyons, R-Alto. Merchant then moved on to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and later returned to the legislature in the office of former House Majority Floor Leader Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton. Merchant is a graduate of Michigan State University and resides in Lowell with her husband, Rusty.
“Connor Spalding has been a constant in the majority leader’s office since last term. He started as an intern and has worked in every role on his way to the position of Deputy Legislative Director. Connor is meticulous, knowledgeable and accessible. This new title better reflects his role in my office and his significance as a member of my staff,” said Meekhof.
Connor Spalding is a graduate of Michigan State University. Spalding began his career in the office of former Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe. Spalding is a resident of Lansing.
“Amanda Price is a welcomed addition to my staff. She has served in the legislature and knows the unique skill set necessary to serve constituents. I know that she will help me serve the residents of the 30th Senate District well,” said Meekhof.
Former Representative Amanda Price was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2010 and served until the end of her third term in 2016. Price is a resident of Holland where she lives with her husband, Rodger.
Price replaces long-time staffer Dennis Van Dam who passed away last year.
Former Deputy Chief of Staff Craig Ryan was recently promoted to the position of Chief of Staff upon the departure of Robert DeVries.