The Next Small Business Administrator?
Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon announced she was stepping down from her post, and a new name to replace her has already surfaced -- Ashley Bell. A slew of local elected officials have begun quietly, and not so quietly, elevating his name as someone Donald Trump should consider. Bell currently serves as a Regional Administrator for the SBA for Region IV; serving nine districts located in the eight southeastern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. He has oversight of over $5 billion in SBA-backed lending, the Counseling arm of the SBA, which counseled over 225,000 entrepreneurs last year in Region IV, and the contracting programs for small business, which account for over 23% of all federal contracts awarded. Before joining the Trump administration, Bell was a Senior Strategist and National Director of African American Engagement at the RNC and was a key surrogate for the Trump Campaign. The former Democrat switched parties years ago and holds the distinction of being the only person in over half a century to be elected as a Delegate to both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. The Valdosta State University grad founded the school’s chapter of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. He obtained his law degree from Louisiana State University and later co-founded the law firm Bell & Washington LLP, in Atlanta. President Barack Obama elevated the position of Small Business Administrator to a cabinet-level position, hence, it requires Senate confirmation. McMahon is reportedly joining the private sector so that she can help raise money for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign. Her resignation is effective April 12th. Should Trump nominate Bell, he would be the second African American cabinet member in the administration. HUD Secretary Ben Carson is the only Black face in the cabinet so far. Of note, The Trump campaign told Politico that they plan to target Black men in 2020 to help them retain the White House. More about Ashley here.