Jeff Arnold, NACo deputy legislative affairs director, died Aug. 23 after a brief illness. He was 57.
Arnold joined NACo in 1994 as the associate legislative director for public lands and Western Interstate Region liaison. Later, he transitioned to an assignment as NACo’s telecommunications and technology lobbyist, a position he also held at the time of his death. NACo Executive Director Larry Naake praised Arnold’s “keen mind” and “great political instincts.” In dozens of tributes, via social media, Arnold was praised by friends and co-workers as “an incredible mentor and advocate for the nation’s counties.”
Jeff was no stranger to Washington or Capitol Hill.
He moved from Oregon to D.C. in 1979 to take a spot as an intern for Sen. Mark Hatfield (R-Ore.). He spent nearly eight years on Capitol Hill, first as a senior staff member for Hatfield and later as a staff member for the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
Under the George H.W. Bush administration, he served as the deputy director of the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs and Senate Liaison at the U.S. Department of the Interior and as chief of the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs for the Minerals Management Service, a bureau of the Department of the Interior.
He also served as the congressional liaison for President George H.W. Bush’s Task Force on Oil and Gas activities on the Outer Continental Shelf of California.
At NACo, Jeff was famous for his “walk-abouts,” a daily conversational circumnavigation of the NACo office space. He was an avid NASCAR fan and a devoted University of Oregon “Ducks” supporter.
A memorial service was held at NACo offices on Aug. 29. Another is scheduled in Eugene, Ore. for Oct. 27 at the Oregon Electric Station, 27 East 5th Ave. after the University of Oregon’s football game.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions may be made to Phi Theta Kappa’s Foundation (www.ptkfoundation.org). Mail to: Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society), 1625 Eastover Dr., Jackson, MS 39211.