With the average tenure of a congressional aide in a position traditionally being less than two years, it’s not often that we see somebody doing the same key job for the same Member of Congress for nearly a decade.
Such a person is Mark Pettitt, the departing chief of staff for Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) ever since the Alabamian was first elected to Congress in the Tea Party Revolution of 2010.
It helps that Brooks and Pettitt have been close friends since their high school days, a fact that perhaps accounts for the heart-felt respect and affection the congressman expressed in announcing the departure:
“I thank Mark for ably and honorably serving as my chief of staff for more than 9 years— since my first day as a member of Congress. Mark’s tenure as chief of staff caps an already exemplary career as a successful private sector engineer.
“Given his background, Mark always offered a unique perspective on federal policy issues. A Tennessee Valley native, Mark has been particularly active in addressing America’s trade imbalances and has long advocated for trade policies that benefit American workers.
“Mark and I have been close friends since our days at Grissom High School. I will miss his sound and candid guidance. I cannot thank Mark enough for the value he provided me and the Tennessee Valley. I wish Mark joy and contentment as he embarks on this next phase of life. I know how much he is looking forward to enjoying well-deserved time with his wife, Diane, five children, and 12 grandchildren! Mark has earned every bit of that family time.”
For his part, Pettitt declared that “I am very thankful and honored my dear friend trusted me to help him serve our country at such a critical time in American history. I am especially proud of the record Congressman Brooks has built for correctly considering the cascading effects of fiscal, trade, and immigration policies on working American families.
“The premier organization seeking to achieve immigration levels that stabilize US population, NumbersUSA, has consistently ranked Congressman Brooks at the top of their scorecards. The influential Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) has recognized Congressman Brooks with their ‘American Trade Hero’ award. His advocacy for fiscally responsible budgets and strong national defense is without peer.
“I sincerely thank all the great staff members who helped support these efforts over the years. While I am leaving Capitol Hill, I will continue to do my small part to put more people with Mo’s understanding and political courage in Congress.”
That strikes me as a class act on the part of both men.