Longtime McHugh Staffer Retires

Posted May 18, 2007 at 4:50pm

Rep. John McHugh (R-N.Y.) recently said goodbye to a longtime staffer while adding three new staffers to his ranks. [IMGCAP(1)]

Leaving the office and entering the world of retirement is Judith Brewer, 55, who served as legislative director.

“There have been many lessons learned as I look back over the terms of seven presidents and nearly 18 Congresses, including the old adage — the more things change, the more they stay the same,” Brewer wrote in an e-mail. “In the case of my Hill colleagues, they continue to be honored to serve the American public, no matter which party is in power, and do so with dedication and integrity.”

Before starting in McHugh’s office in 1993, Brewer worked for former Rep. David Martin (R-N.Y.) from 1981 to 1993. She also worked as projects assistant to the late Rep. Harold Johnson (D-Calif.) from 1979 to 1980, and as staff assistant to the House Aging subcommittee on retirement income and employment from 1978 to 1979. She first came to Capitol Hill in 1973 as a staff assistant to former Rep. Fred Rooney (D-Pa.). [IMGCAP(2)]

“Judi Brewer is a woman of the highest character and integrity,” McHugh said in a statement. “She embodies the term ‘public servant,’ and her abilities and compassion have made her a uniquely important asset for my constituents. The North Country has long been the beneficiary of Judi’s efforts and endeavors on Capitol Hill, and her absence will be felt by her colleagues, myself, and most of all, New York’s 23rd Congressional District.”

Brewer graduated cum laude from the University of Maine with a degree in political science in 1973.

Replacing Brewer as legislative director in the office is Mike Holland, 37.

Prior to joining the office, Holland worked as legislative director for former Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) from 2001 to 2007. He also worked as legislative assistant for former Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R-Ark.) from 1998 to 2001 and as an attorney for the Nixon Law Firm in Arkansas.

“I know that he will serve the North Country admirably,” McHugh said. “[H]e is a highly experienced professional with an extensive accomplished legislative background.”

Born in Plattsburgh, N.Y., and raised in Malone, N.Y., Holland earned a bachelor’s degree in history from St. Lawrence University in 1991 and a law degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1994. He earned a master of laws degree from the University of Arkansas in 1999.

New to the office as press secretary is Matt Lavoie, 25. Previously, Lavoie worked for Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) as a staff assistant and press assistant from 2006 to 2007 and managed a successful state Senate campaign in Massachusetts as part of former Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R) fellowship program in 2004.

“I’m a die-hard Boston sports fan, which has come up a few times working for a [New York] Congressman,” Lavoie wrote in an e-mail. “They’ve graciously agreed to overlook it.”

From Hopkinton, Mass., Lavoie graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in history in 2004.

Finally, John Sweeney, 26, joins the office as government and community political liaison. He most recently worked as communications director for a New York state Senator. He also has worked for the New York State Division of Budget, the Public Service Commission and the Office of Regional and Local Government Affairs.

The Syracuse, N.Y., native graduated from Siena College with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2002.