Ron Mathieu, director of the Little Rock National Airport, has narrowed a second round of applications for the job of director of government relations at the airport to four finalists — all new names — and they’ll be interviewed by airport officials Nov. 28 and 29. Times will be set aside each day for the finalists to talk with any airport commissioners interested in meeting them.
Long story short: A previous effort to fill this slot fell apart in a disagreement between Commissioner Tom Schueck and just about everyone else on whether the choice would be Mathieu’s (he initially chose gas company PR man Mark Raines) or the commission’s to make. Schueck favored former Little Rock City Director Michael Keck for the job, which could pay $135,000 or so. The commission ultimately stood behind Mathieu, though there’ve been a series of discussions intended to give all a piece of the process.
* Julie Leonard of Little Rock, a lawyer and fund-raising consultant whose resume includes political work for former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts and Rhode Island Republican candidate Christine Ferguson.
* Shane Carter, a former TV reporter and meteorologist who oversees public relations for the Arkansas Methodist Medical Center in Paragould.
* Tracy Horne of Little Rock, a PR consultant whose past employers include Gov. Mike Huckabee, Secretary of State Mark Martin, U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin and the Win Rockefeller gubernatorial campaign.
* Shannon Vinson, a Batesville native who’s a former Air Force C-130 navigator and public affairs officer and currently working in public affairs in Washington for Northrop Grumman.