January 29, 1982
The President today announced his appointment of Lee Atwater, of Columbia, S.C., to be Deputy Assistant to the President for Political Affairs. He would succeed Edward J. Rollins, who has been promoted to the post of Assistant to the President for Political Affairs. In his new position, Atwater will be the White House point man for the 1982 congressional elections.
Mr. Atwater was appointed Special Assistant to the President on January 21, 1981. Previously he served as a regional political director during the 1980 Presidential campaign and directed the successful Reagan primary effort in South Carolina. Since 1974 he has been active in 28 successful Republican campaigns as a consultant. He was the manager of Senator Strom Thurmond's (R-SC) 1978 reelection and has played key roles in the campaigns of Representatives Floyd Spence, Carroll Campbell, Tommy Hartnett and John Napier of South Carolina, and Representative Gene Johnston of North Carolina.
In addition, Mr. Atwater, 30, is a former executive director of the College Republican National Committee. He was one of the youngest delegates to the 1972 Republican National Convention, as well as the youngest Presidential elector from his home State. He was also a delegate to the 1980 Republican National Convention, where he served as Reagan's assistant floor leader. Shortly after the convention he presented, and subsequently saw adopted, his campaign strategy for the Southern States.
Mr. Atwater is a graduate of Newberry College and holds a master's degree from the University of South Carolina. The United States Jaycees recognized him as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of America for 1982.