Political Notebook

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Stutzman names communications director

Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, has selected a communications director after three months without one.

John Stapleton will replace James Wegmann, a Woodburn native who left Stutzman’s staff in late May to join the U.S. Senate campaign of Nebraska Republican Ben Sasse.

Stapleton had been head speechwriter for former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. Cantor was upset in this year’s Virginia primary election, resigned from his House seat on Aug. 18 and was appointed vice chairman and managing director of Wall Street investment bank Moelis & Co. on Tuesday.

Stapleton earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from American University in Washington, D.C. In 2012, he was deputy director of Election Day operations in Virginia for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

“His strong writing background and understanding of public policy will be extremely valuable to ensure 3rd District constituents are constantly aware of what is happening at the federal level,” Stutzman said Tuesday in a statement announcing Stapleton's appointment.

Wegmann earned more than $58,000 a year as Stutzman’s communications director, according to online research engine FindTheBest. Stapleton made more than $55,000 as Cantor’s speechwriter.

Stapleton becomes Stutzman’s third communications director since he was first elected to Congress in 2010. Stutzman is being challenged in the Nov. 4 election by Democrat Justin Kuhnle of Kendallville and Libertarian Scott Wise of Columbia City.