Timmy Teepell

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Timothy Patrick "Timmy" Teepell​

Chief of Staff to Governor Bobby Jindal
In office
2008​ – 2011​
Preceded by Andy Kopplin
(under Kathleen Blanco)​
Succeeded by Stephen Waguespack​

Born February 15, 1975​
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA​
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Sarah Lynn Parker Teepell​
Children Two sons and four daughters

Parents:
Thomas Francis, Sr., and Brenda McArthur Teepell​

Residence Baton Rouge, Louisiana​

Alexandria, Virginia​​

Alma mater Homeschooled in Baton Rouge​
Occupation Political consultant

Timothy Patrick Teepell, known as Timmy Teepell (born February 15, 1975), is a Republican political consultant from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who was chief of staff to former Governor Bobby Jindal during most of Jindal's first term in office. Since 2011, Teepell has operated the firm OnMessage, Inc., based in Annapolis, Maryland[1] Teepell was known in Jindil's first term as the governor's "alter ego."[2]

Background

Teepell is the second of four sons of Thomas Francis "Tommy" Teepell, Sr. (born 1951), the chief operating officer of the Baton Rouge-based Lamar Advertising Company, and the former Brenda McArthur (also born 1951). After the eighth or tenth grade (sources vary),[3] Teepell was homeschooled His mother became an unofficial lobbyist for the homeschooling movement and spent considerable time at the state Capitol promoting her cause. Young Teepell had an interest in basketball and the Louisiana State University great Pete Maravich.[4] Teepell obtained his General Educational Development]diploma and did not attend college. Instead he went directly to Washington, D.C., to work for Republican candidates, to promote conservative causes, to engage in fundraising, and to join the staff of the Republican National Committee, all activities which turned into his full-time career as a political consultant.[5]

Teeple is married to the former Sarah Lynn Parker of Virginia. He has twin sons, Thomas and William, and four daughters, all named for U.S. states, Virginia, Georgia, Montana, and Tennessee.[3]

Political life

At the age of eighteen, his first job in 1993 was as an aide to Michael Farris in Purcellville in northern Virginia, a Republican who organized the Home School Legal Defense Association and Patrick Henry College. Farris ran unsuccessfully that same year for lieutenant governor, when such Moderate Republicans as then U.S. Senator John Warner refused to support him because of his conservative views. By his early twenties, Teepell had taken charge of the Madison Project, a political action committee founded by Farris that raised funds for Christian conservative candidates nationwide. He also worked in certain Virginia legislative campaigns, but the state turned heavily Democrat.[4]

Regarding his lack of formal education, Teepell said that he fell into political organization mostly by accident:​
​ I learned a lot in the work world that I wouldn’t have learned as a political science major [including the work ethic from his parents] When [one doesn't] have a college education, [he] can't afford to fail at any job. I realized I had to work twice as hard as anyone else to be successful. ...[5]

Regarding his perseverance in campaigning, Teepell said in second person:​ ​

​ It's not rocket science. To win a campaign you have to get a lot of people engaged in supporting you. Not just voters, but when you have somebody who's willing to go door-to-door in their own neighborhood telling their neighbors, asking people to vote for you. That's powerful. ... There are relationships you build in Louisiana where people put aside their partisanship and see people for who they are and build those relationships. That's something that being in D.C. I always missed about Louisiana, and it's one of the reasons I wanted to come back.[4]

Managing the Jindal campaigns

In 2003, Teepell began advising Jindal to continue in active politics after the latter's defeat in the governor's race that year by the Democrat Kathleen Blanco. He managed Jindal's election in 2004 to Louisiana's 1st congressional district for the seat vacated by David Vitter, who instead became in 2005 his state's first elected Republican U.S. Senator since Reconstruction. In 2007, Teepell managed Jindal's successful gubernatorial race against the Democrats Foster Lonnie Campbell, Jr., and Walter Boasso, and several other opponents. He then joined Jindal as chief of staff in the first term[1]at a salary of $165,000 annually.[6] The Jindal-Teepell relationship seemed ironic with Jindal being a Rhodes Scholar and Teepell having a GED.[3]

In 2010, Teepell took a three-month leave of absence to work nationally in campaigns for the Republican Governors Association, of which Jindal became the chairman two years later. Jindal's executive counsel and later Teepeol's successor as chief of staff, Stephen Waguespack, subsequently the executive director of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, was the acting chief of staff while Teepell was away.[7]

In 2012, Teepell, along with John White, Jindal's appointee as Louisiana education superintendent who left the position in 2020, and Chas Roemer, a son of former Governor Buddy Roemer and the then president of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, became involved in the promotion of Jindal's educational reform package[8] of expanded charter schools, education vouchers,[9] and enhanced teacher evaluations.[10]

In 2011, Jindal hired one of Teepell's younger brothers, Taylor Teepell, as the governor's deputy for legislative affairs and thereafter as deputy chief of staff under Stephen Waguespack.[11] Taylor Teepell was the director of the Louisiana Republican Party's Victory Fund in 2011 and is a former advisor to the former chairman of the Republican National Committee Haley Barbour, also a former governor of Mississippi.[11]​ ​ In 2011, Jindal named Matt Parker (born 1984), formerly of Virginia, and Teepell's borther-in-law as his intergovernmental affairs director and then in 2012 assigned Parker as the legislative affairs director.[11] Parker had been Jindal's 2011 campaign manager when the governor, with more than $9 million in campaign funds at his disposal,[12] polled nearly two-thirds of the vote in the nonpartisan blanket primary against a large field of otherwise politically unknown candidates.[13] In 2010, Parker had worked on the gubernatorial campaign of Rick Scott of Florida, who became the junior U.S. Senator in 2019.[1]

Other campaigns

In 2012, Teepell worked in the campaign of Republican U.S. Representative Bill Cassidy, then of Louisiana's Baton Rouge-based 6th congressional district who in 2014 unseated Democrat U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu.[14]In the spring of 2013, Teepeel abruptly departed the Cassidy campaign as Cassidy prepared to challenge Landrieu's bid for a fourth term.[2]

Early in 2012, Teepell, with OnMessage Inc., based in Alexandria, Virginia, correctly forecast before the Press Club of Baton Rouge that U.S. President Barack Obama would defeat the Republican choice, Mitt Romney, a Moderate Republican former governor of Massachusetts and a current U.S. Senator from Utah, by two or three percentage points but that there would be divided government with the Republican majority maintained in the U.S. House and possibly a GOP pickup of the U.S. Senate, which did not materialize.[8]

In 2013, Teepell and OnMessage, Inc., worked in the campaign of state Senator (now state Representative) Neil Riser of Columbia in Caldwell Parish, in Louisiana's 5th congressional district special election to fill the seat vacated by Republican Rodney Alexander, who left Congress to join the Jindal administration as secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs.[15] On November 16, 2013, Riser was handily defeated in a runoff election with fellow Republican Vance McAllister, a businessman in Ouachita Parish who previously unknown politically. According to the office of then Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler in Baton Rouge, McAllister defeated Riser, Teepell's candidate, 54,449 (59.7 percent) to 36,837 (40.3 percent), with all 981 precincts reporting.[16] McAllister served less than a year in office, caught up in a crippling sex scandal.

In 2016, Teepell managed the unsuccessful campaign of Moderate Republican Scott Angelle in the race for Louisiana's 3rd congressional district seat vacated by Dr. Charles Boustany of Lafayette. Though an early favorite, Angelle lost to the more conservative Clay Higgins of St. Landry Parish, who is a candidate for a third term in 2020.

Reference

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Jindal hires relatives of former chief of staff," WBRZ-TV, November 28, 2011
  2. 2.0 2.1 James H. "Jim" Brown, Will Landrieu And Jindal Face Off in Senate Race?, May 23, 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Meet Governor Jindal's Chief of Staff: Timmy Teepell," WAFB-TV, January 14, 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Stephanie Stokes "Competitive spirit drives Jindal's top gun," The New Orleans Times-Picayune, October 28, 2007.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Chuck Hustmyre, "Timmy Teepell," 225batonrouge.com, December 31, 2007; no longer accessible on-line.​
  6. Tom Aswell (July 6, 2012). Timmy Teepell neglected to close out his state email account when he left the governor's office 11 months ago–or did he?. louisianavoice.com. Retrieved on May 29, 2020.
  7. "Jindal chief of staff back after GOP campaign work," WBRZ-TV, November 8, 2010.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Ed Anderson (January 31, 2012). President Obama's re-election likely, Gov. Jindal's former aide says. The New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved on May 29, 2020.
  9. Caitlin Emma (September 24, 2013). Bobby Jindal: War with feds over school vouchers still on. Politico.com. Retrieved on October 25, 2013.
  10. "Bobby Jindal is governing like it's 2016," Politico.com, February 17, 2013.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "Governor Jindal Announces New Deputy Chief of Staff, Legislative Affairs Director, Intergovernmental Affairs Director," Govstatela, October 12, 2012.
  12. "Jindal fundraising report to show $9.2M on hand,," WBRZ-TV, February 15, 2011.
  13. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns (Governor), October 22, 2011.
  14. Brandon Comeaux (February 15, 2012). Rep. Cassidy Hires Jindal's Top Campaign Strategist for Reelection Effort. KPEL (AM) (Lafayette). Retrieved on May 29, 2020.
  15. "Riser claims FEC mistaken," The Baton Rouge Advocate, October 14, 2013.
  16. Louisiana Secretary of State, Election Returns, November 16, 2013.

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