Political Insider

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Meet the Georgians helping to steer Trump's White House transition

Two influential Georgians will be in the middle of Donald Trump's White House transition.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is among seven vice chairs selected Friday to be on the president-election's transition team. And Nick Ayers is a top aide to Mike Pence, the incoming vice president who will lead the effort to assemble Trump's administration.

Gingrich was one of the few Republican elders who backed Trump's campaign early in the primary, and he said Thursday he envisions a "senior planner" role for himself. Gingrich also will bring with him Randy Evans, the Republican National Committeeman from Georgia who is Gingrich's longtime attorney and confidante.

Ayers was one in a trio of aides tapped by Pence to help in the secretive behind-the-scenes work to put together Trump's White House.

Already, the list of potential Cabinet appointees is triggering speculation in political circles across the nation. Several Georgia Republicans, including U.S. Sen. David Perdue and U.S. Rep. Tom Price, are said to be among the contenders.

Ayers, a Cobb County native, helped Sonny Perdue win the governor's race and his cousin David land a U.S. Senate seat. He served as the executive director of the Republican Governors Association and managed Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's 2012 presidential campaign. Ayers later became one of Pence's main consultants, and became his national campaign chairman when Trump tapped the Indianan as his running mate.

Trump said Friday that more decisions could be made soon.

"Busy day planned in New York,” the president-elect said on Twitter on Friday morning. “Will soon be making some very important decisions on the people who will be running our government.”

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.