PoliticsPA’s Chiefs of Staff Spotlight: Bill Tighe
At PoliticsPA, we love staffers as much as elected officials. That’s why we’re starting our newest feature, Chief of Staff Spotlight. Each week, we’ll introduce you to one of the people who make the PA delegation possible.
We’ve chosen at random, and this week we present Bill Tighe, Chief of Staff for Rep. Tom Marino (R-10).
2. Who is your boss?
Rep. Tom Marino (PA-10)
3. What is your birthday?
December 3, 1977
4. Where did you grow up?
Clarks Summit (Newton Township), Lackawanna County
5. Where did you go to college and what was your major?
Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA – BA, International Relations
George Mason University, Fairfax, VA – Master of Public Policy
6. Are you married? Dating? Single? (optional)
Married to Erica Tighe. Met on Capitol Hill, she worked for Rep. Felix Grucci of NY.
7. Do you have any kids? If so, how old and what are their names? (optional)
Three boys; Will (4), Wes (2), and Casey (6 months)
1. What was your first political job?
I had to get community service hours for my Catholic confirmation so I volunteered in the office of State Rep. Frank Serafini. I answered phones and greeted constituents but my main responsibility was vacuuming the floor, dusting, and washing windows!
2. What was your biggest break in politics?
Getting my first job on Capitol Hill as a Staff Assistant to Rep. George Gekas. And then being hired by Rep. Jim Gerlach in 2003 when I REALLY needed a job.
3. How long have you worked with your boss?
Since January 3, 2011
4. What was your position when you first started in the office?
5. What’s the worst job outside of politics you have ever had?
Can’t think of one I didn’t like. I’ve done farm work, I worked in a corporate mail room, and in a metal fabrication shop. And yes, there have been days on Capitol Hill when I wished I was bailing hay or standing at a punch press.
1. What has been your proudest single accomplishment/achievement since working on Capitol Hill?
Becoming a Chief of Staff
2. What is your favorite PA sports team?
(Except for Bucknell teams) None, I was born a contrarian.
3. Where and what do you eat lunch on most days?
No breakfast, no lunch. Generally coffee and Diet Pepsi during the day.
4. Favorite “political” movie?
Thank You for Smoking
5. Blackberry or I-Phone?
6. What political figure do you most admire (excluding your boss), and a sentence or two why?
I genuinely have a lot of respect for anyone who has the guts to put their name on a yard sign. My former boss, Rep. Jim Gerlach, is someone I do really admire. He works hard and plays to win. I don’t think he gets enough respect for the seriousness with which he approaches his work and not enough people understand how challenging the 6th District has been. It’s the single most competitive Congressional district in the nation and no other Republican could have won in that district in 2004, 2006, 2008, or 2010.
7. What makes a Chief of Staff “good” and why?
A good Chief of Staff has to have a little bit of everything. Obviously, the best Chiefs of Staff understand the legislative process and the issues important to the Member and possess good political instincts.
Maybe the most important intangible quality is the ability to listen and ask the right questions. A good Chief of Staff needs to listen and ask questions to fully understand a Member’s goals and concerns. A Chief of Staff also has listen to the advice of the staff and make time to consider their thoughts. Failure to do this wastes good talent and discourages a staff from being creative. A Chief of Staff also has to be able to hear the concerns of constituents. A good Chief of Staff understands that fielding constituent calls can be the most valuable thing you do in a day.
Ultimately, a Chief of Staff has to remember whose name is on the door, be conscious of how much the Member and his family sacrifices to serve, and never take yourself too seriously!