NASHVILLE -- Republican U.S. Rep.-elect John Rose of Cookeville has named a former congressman, Van Hilleary, to lead his office operations, Rose announced Tuesday.
Rose, elected in November to represent Tennessee's 6th Congressional District, appointed Hilleary as his chief of staff.
Hilleary represented the state's 4th Congressional District from 1995 to 2003.
In a news release, Rose said "having an experienced person like Van Hilleary agree to serve as my chief of staff will greatly benefit me and my constituents from day one. He will bring the Washington know-how to our team, but is not a Washington insider."
Calling Hilleary "my friend," Rose, a farmer and small businessman who operates his family's DeKalb County farm, said that "I could not be more proud to have him on board. Together, we will work to bring the highest level of service to this office so the people I serve are represented in the fullest manner possible."
Hilleary, originally from Spring City in Rhea County, ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2002, losing to Democrat Phil Bredesen. In 2006, Hilleary ran for the GOP's U.S. Senate nomination, losing to Republican and current U.S. Sen. Bob Corker of Chattanooga in a three-person primary.
Rose ran this year to replace Republican U.S. Rep. Diane Black of Gallatin who mounted a bid for governor. She lost in a four-person GOP primary contest.
But Rose won his own three-person GOP primary contest with retired judge Bob Corlew and then-state Rep. Judd Matheny of Tullahoma. He then went on to defeat Democrat Dawn Barlow on Nov. 6.
Rose said he intends to make "timely, effective constituent services the cornerstone" of his service in the 6th Congressional District.
According to the congressman-elect, Hilleary as a congressman "built a solid conservative record" in supporting a "strong national defense, balanced budgets, tax cuts, business deregulation, the Second Amendment, and rights of the unborn."
Like Rose, Hilleary represented a largely rural district.