Seven Senate Staffers in $100K Club

 by Fergus Cullen (

Seven staffers for U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte have salaries over $100,000, according to newly released payroll records.

Ayotte Chief of Staff John Easton ($161,927) and Shaheen Chief of Staff Maura Keefe ($160,750) are the highest paid staffers. Also making more than $100,000 in Senator Shaheen’s office are Legislative Director Judy Reardon ($128,000) and State Director Mike Vlacich ($115,750). In Senator Ayotte’s office, State Director Bud Fitch ($117,333), Military Legislative Assistant Brad Bowman ($115,000), and Director of Administration Debra Jarrett ($102,667) also earn six figures.

Beyond the top staffers, the reports show that most staffers are modestly paid. Of the 40 staffers on Shaheen’s payroll as of March 31, 25 are paid less than $50,000. Of the 26 staffers on Ayotte’s payroll, 14 earn less than $50,000. These include the legislative aides and staff assistants who respond to constituent mail and perform case work. Some of these staffers previously worked on the senators’ political campaign staffs. 

Methodology: Senate offices disclose expenditures twice a year, covering six months at a time. Salaries listed are for April 1, 2010 through March 31, 2011. Base data was compiled by Legistorm. In cases when the staffer was employed by a senator for the entire 12 month period, the salaries listed are their actual pay for that 12 month period. In cases when the staffer was employed for less than a year, the salary is estimated. All of newly elected Senator Ayotte’s staff salaries are estimated based on the first quarter of 2011 or since their start date. Compensation for staffers who left Senator Shaheen’s staff sometime during the year is simply listed, with no estimate made of their annual rate of pay.

Senate Payroll 2011

Author: Fergus Cullen

Fergus Cullen is a former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party (2007-2008) and an editorial page columnist for the New Hampshire Union Leader.

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