State Representative-Elect J.D. Sheffield has appointed a number of individuals with District 59 ties to positions in his office. Amanda Tollett, Glenn Jeffers, Gary Kafer, Brynnan Whaley, and Andrew Johnson have been named to district and capitol posts.
A Stephenville native and former city council member, Johnson has been appointed to serve as Sheffield's chief of staff, overseeing the state capitol office as well as operations for District 59, an eight county area.
“Having someone from the district and familiar with the needs of the people of District 59 was extremely important in choosing a chief of staff," Sheffield said. "Andrew not only meets this criterion but brings a wealth of local political experience and skills to this position.”
Johnson is a third generation graduate of Tarleton State University, having earned a bachelor and dual-master’s degrees. He has taught for Tarleton as an adjunct faculty member. He is a doctoral candidate in organizational studies and management at The University of Texas at San Antonio.
Johnson served on the Stephenville City Council from 2004 until 2008, following a year of service on the city's Planning and Zoning Commission. He is a Stephenville High School graduate, Leadership Stephenville Alumni and an Eagle Scout.
Tollett has been named legislative director and will serve in the capitol office.
She graduated from Tarleton in 2007 earning a bachelor's degree in political science. Tollett, a native of Austin, also holds a master’s degree in political science from Texas State University in San Marcos. She has served in staff roles for both the Texas House and Senate, most recently as a staff member for the Senate Select Committee on Open Government.
“Choosing a legislative director with a firsthand knowledge of the legislative process was critical," Sheffield said. "We could not be more pleased with Amanda and her experience in both branches of the Texas legislature.”
Kafer, a retired public school teacher, has been tapped as district director
“Gary has already been traveling extensively throughout the district, talking with people and listening to their needs,” Johnson said. “We will maintain a strong presence in all of the communities in this district and those efforts will be led by Gary.”
Kafer is a graduate of Baylor University with a bachelor of science and master in education. He and his wife, Mary, reside in Gatesville.
Jeffers has been appointed to serve as district liaison.
Jeffers holds a bachelor's degree in history and political science from Tarleton. He served as Sheffield's campaign manager and resides with his family in Gatesville.
“Our number one focus is serving the people of District 59," Johnson said. "I think that our team and office organization reflect this goal. Glenn will provide a vital link between the communities and the capitol office.”
Whaley, a Hamilton native, will serve as a staff member in the capitol office during the legislative session.
Whaley is a 2002 graduate of Hamilton High School and a 2009 graduate of the University of Texas with a bachelor of arts in English.
“We have an important and full legislative session this year," Johnson said. "There are a number of issues to be addressed, particularly in the areas of education and healthcare, that are of the highest importance to Dr. Sheffield. I am excited to have our team in place. We have already begun working on numerous areas that affect the people of Texas.”
Sheffield is a family practice physician elected to the Texas Legislature in 2012 as the state representative for District 59, which includes Somervell, Comanche, Coryell, Erath, Hamilton, McCullough, Mills and San Saba counties. He and his wife, Regina, are long-time residents of Gatesville.
Prior to officially beginning their duties on Jan. 8, 2013, Sheffield’s staff can be reached at jdfortexas.com.