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                                                                For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 3 – Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today announced that it has promoted two staffers to lead its government affairs team. Ben Brubeck will serve as ABC’s vice president of regulatory, labor and state affairs; and Kristen Swearingen will serve as vice president of legislative and political affairs.

“I am delighted to promote the tremendous talent we have at Associated Builders and Contractors to further advance our advocacy efforts—on the Hill, with regulatory agencies and in state capitols,” said ABC President and CEO Michael Bellaman. “Both Ben and Kristen are seasoned pros with deep experience advancing the merit shop philosophy at the federal, state and local levels to create a business environment where commercial and industrial construction can thrive.”

Brubeck has spent 12 years in ABC’s government affairs department and was formerly director of labor and federal procurement. He is a recognized expert in state and federal labor and procurement issues impacting the construction industry including the Davis-Bacon Act, state-level prevailing wage laws and government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs). He also serves as vice president of policy for the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships. Brubeck earned a bachelor’s degree from Gettysburg College.

Swearingen, formerly senior director of legislative affairs at ABC, has been with ABC for nine years leading the association’s lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill and coalition efforts in the business community. Prior to joining ABC she was a staffer in the office of former Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.). She is a graduate of the College of Charleston.

ABC is the merit shop construction industry’s voice with the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the federal as well as state and local governments. The association is rooted in a philosophy committed to free enterprise and high value, quality, safe and innovative construction. From 2009 to 2015, ABC helped ensure that more than $60 billion of large-scale federal construction contracts were subject to fair and open competition regardless of labor affiliation and passed measures prohibiting government-mandated PLAs in 20 states. Recently ABC launched, which rates states on pro-merit shop policies, job growth and workforce development efforts, and successfully fought for tax provisions essential to the construction industry, resulting in the permanent extension of four priority tax provisions and the temporary extension of four others.

Also active in the election process, ABC saw 90 percent of the nearly 300 candidates backed by its political action committee—ABC PAC—win during the 2014 cycle. In the lead-up to the 2016 presidential contest, ABC has held a series of industry TeleForums with leading presidential candidates Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Carly Fiorina.


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