32 Facts About Don Benton


Donald Mark Benton was born on April 8,1957 and is an American politician.


Don Benton served as campaign director for Donald Trump in Washington.


In 2016, after Trump was elected, Benton was appointed as a senior White House advisor at the Environmental Protection Agency for a few weeks, but reportedly did not work well with newly appointed agency head Scott Pruitt.


Don Benton served in that position until the inauguration of President Biden.


Don Benton later was employed as a district manager for Farmers Insurance Group and worked as an advertising consultant in Southwest Washington.


Don Benton served in the United States Army from December 1975 to February 1976, to be trained for a specific job skill under the Guaranteed Training Enlistment Program.


When his training was no longer available, Don Benton quit the military, receiving an honorable discharge.

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Don Benton was first elected to public office when he won a seat in the Washington state House of Representatives in 1994.


In 2012, Don Benton faced a tight and contentious race, edging Democratic challenger Tim Probst by less than 100 votes.


Democratic lawmakers protested that the maneuver lacked transparency, though three Democratic senators ultimately joined with Don Benton to help pass the motion.


Don Benton served on the Transportation, Government Operations, Rules, and Financial Institutions committees.


Don Benton is a Washington state leader for the American Legislative Exchange Council.


In 2000, Don Benton was elected chair of the Washington state Republican Party.


Don Benton's tenure was marked by historical fundraising numbers, though some party members criticized his spending priorities and hiring decisions.


Don Benton's appointment was controversial as it bypassed standard civil service hiring procedures and Benton had no previous experience in environmental services.


Don Benton's attorney contacted Ed Barnes, a Clark County union activist who had declared Benton unqualified for the job, during public comment periods at county commission meetings claiming defamation, though some legal experts questioned whether Benton, as a public figure, could file such a suit.


Don Benton filed a tort claim, a state requirement before filing suit against the county, in October 2016, seeking two million dollars from Clark County for wrongful termination.


Don Benton was initially the leader of the EPA "Beachhead" team, which oversaw the transition within the EPA from the Obama Administration to the Trump Administration.


Don Benton drew criticism when he reportedly suggested changes to the dress code at the Selective Service System that called for women to wear "conservative tops", pantyhose, and closed-toed shoes while telling men to wear dress shoes with sport coats or a suit and tie.


Don Benton left the position of Director of the Selective Service System on January 20,2021, the day President Biden was inaugurated.


Don Benton was succeeded by an Acting Director pending President Biden's nomination of a new permanent Director.


In 2013, Don Benton introduced a bill that would require parents to be notified if their minor daughter was having an abortion.


Don Benton stated that "this is a parental rights bill" and not intended to stop abortions.


In 2005 Don Benton introduced the Chelsea Harrison Act, which was eventually enacted and signed into law in 2008.


In 2010 Don Benton, who served as a student member of the Board of Trustees at California's College of the Canyons, introduced legislation to create a sixth trustee position at Washington community colleges, which would be filled with a student appointment.

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Don Benton has voted against proposed tuition increases at state colleges and universities has stated his opposition to offering in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants.


Don Benton supports reducing taxes on small businesses and has supported efforts to raise the property tax exemption amount for the elderly and disabled.


Don Benton has said he is in alignment with many members of the Tea Party movement.


Don Benton has been a vocal opponent of the Columbia River Crossing, calling the proposed bridge an unnecessarily expensive replacement for the existing Interstate Bridge.


When Oregon attempted to move ahead on the bridge without Washington's support, Don Benton introduced a measure in the legislature to block Clark County's public transit agency C-Tran from cooperating with Oregon state agencies on the project.


Don Benton's father was a former member of the Agua Dulce, California school board.


Don Benton has four children with his wife, Mary, who currently runs his former advertising consultancy.