Nathan Stubbs

Louisiana's other rising political star

by Nathan Stubbs

Campaigns & Elections Politics magazine has identified a new political star in Louisiana and for once it’s not Gov. Bobby Jindal. The magazine has just released its annual list of Rising Stars and among the 25 honorees is Jindal press secretary Melissa Sellers. The Rising Stars are all “people 35 or under who have already made a significant mark in political consulting or advocacy.” Past honorees are some the biggest names in the business today, including David Axelrod, Donna Brazille, James Carville, Karen Hughes and George Stephanopolous.

Sellers’ selection is likely to raise some eyebrows at the Capitol, where the 25-year-old press secretary has a reputation for being an overzealous guardian of information, often not responding to media requests. Sellers featured prominently in a recent Independent article titled “Stonewall Jindal” about the governor’s clandestine office and tenuous relationship with the press. Campaigns & Elections sees her as an up and comer. The magazine writes:

Melissa Sellers' political education came at an early age. A journalism major, Sellers interned on George Bush's 2000 presidential campaign and a little more than a year later found herself running a campaign for the Texas state House at age 19. "That was when I realized, ‘Hey, this is really fun,'" she says. In her first seven years in professional politics, Sellers has worked on six campaigns, winning five. In 2004 she served as the northeast regional media coordinator for President Bush's re-election campaign and ran the communications shop for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's campaign in 2007. Now, as Jindal's press secretary, Sellers has a coveted office directly across from the governor-a space usually reserved for top legislative staffers, but that Jindal insisted on giving her.