Virginia Gov.-elect John N. Dalton named three of his top campaign aides today to direct his gubernatorial transition team. It is expected that all three will fill key roles in the governor's office after Dalton's inauguration Jan. 14.
The announcement from Dalton's office said all three will be "coequalheads of the transition group," but added that William A. Royall Jr., who headed the campaign staff, will be transition spokesman. The other team members are Larry E. Murphy, executive assistant and director of scheduling in the campaign, and Jennifer Joyce Manson, who was the campaign's director of research.
All three are young - Royall and Murphy are 31 and Manson 24 - and have had little or no previous experience in state government.
Royall is a veteran of state and national party and campaign politics who has had spectacular success as a political manager in Virginia in the last three years.
After stints as a regional director for the Republican National Committee and press secretary to Republican National Chairwoman Mary Louise Smith, he became executive director of the Republican Party of Virginia in 1975. Working under state chairman George N. McMath, Royall put otgether the first fully staffed fund-raising, voter-identification and candidate-recruitment organization ever operated by a major party in Virginia.
Last year, Royall headed the staff of former President Ford's re-election campaign in Virginia, the only Souther state carried by the Republican ticket.
After the presidential campaign, Royall went to work for Dalton and assembled what defeated Democrat Henry E. Howell described in a press conference today as an "awesome political arsenal."
The Dalton campaign raised a record amount of money - the final count is expected to be about $2 million - from a record number of contributors and made use of direct mail appeals Unprecedented in the state. Dalton won with almost 56 per cent of the 1.25 million votes cast.
Royall has never held a government position. A native of Tazewell in Southwest Virginia, his grandfather, John Powell Royall, was the unsuccessful Republican nominee for governor in 1937 and attorney general in 1933.
Murphy was administrative assistant to Dalton, the state's lieutenant governor, before the campaign and previously worked on the staffs of several House of Delegates committees. He is a business administration graduate of Virginia Commonwealth Univeristy. He organized the Jaycees chapter there and was a national director of the U.S. Jaycees.
Manson worked in the White House office of communications in 1976-77 and before that was assistant to the director of research of the President Ford Committee. She directed a staff of seven full-time researchers for Dalton.