McDonnell appoints Bryan Rhode to ABC commission

March 26, 2012

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) appointed prosecutor and unsuccessful senate candidate Bryan Rhode to the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.

Rhode, who served as an assistant commonwealth’s attorney in Richmond, was one of five candidates who sought the Republican nomination for Senate last year in a newly-created district that stretches from Lynchburg to Goochland County. Tom Garrett won the primary and the general election.

Rhode replaces Wayne Ozmore, who resigned last summer, and joins chairman Neal Insley and Sandy Canada on the commission.

The three ABC commission jobs are widely considered some of the most plum posts in all of state government. ABC commissioners make roughly $120,000 a year. The jobs are purely political appointments— meaning they are often rewards for a long service to a party or governor.

Insley served as special counsel at LeClair Ryan, where he was in charge of the firm’s hospitality law industry team. Canada served as a fundraiser for McDonnell and other Republicans and was an ABC commissioner for former governor Jim Gilmore (R) from 1998-2002.

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