Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin turned to the voice of his gubernatorial campaigns to take over as director of communications and spokesman for his office.
“I have worked closely with Chris in the past and I believe he brings valuable knowledge and experience to our team,” Tomblin said in a news release.
“I’m pleased he has accepted this opportunity and I look forward to working with him in this new role.”
Stadelman replaces outgoing spokeswoman Amy Shuler Goodwin. Goodwin, who took on the role in 2012, was recently appointed commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Tourism.
After Goodwin’s appointment, Tomblin reached out to Stadelman about taking on the position, Stadelman said. He said the time with Tomblin on the campaign trail helped Stadelman get to know and respect the governor.
“I’m excited about this opportunity to work with Governor Tomblin and his team to help improve the state where I have spent almost all of my life,” Stadelman said in the news release.
Without an imminent campaign, Stadelman said he’s sure the new position will be different than his previous post.
“I really need to figure out what my role is, what the governor wants it to be,” Stadelman said Wednesday afternoon.
Before working with Tomblin’s campaigns Stadelman worked for years in the newspaper business. He spent a decade in various positions with the Charleston Daily Mail, and with his wife Kelly operated a weekly newspaper in Tucker County until 2011. He worked full time with public relations company The Manahan Group until last summer, but has continued to do some work from time to time with the group, he said.
The Stadelmans also purchased the Putnam Standard and Cabell Standard in the fall. Stadelman said his wife operates the papers full time while he helps out as a sportswriter when he’s needed. He said he’d like to continue writing the occasional sports story if the workload at the new post allows for it, but it’s something he said he’ll need to determine after he starts.
Goodwin is set to leave the post at the end of the month. Stadelman will start May 16, and he’s planning to work on the transition with Goodwin before she departs.
Stadelman will earn $85,000 in the role. That’s $10,000 less than Goodwin’s salary.