Timothy Patrick Teepell, known as Timmy Teepell (born February 15, 1975), is a Republican political consultant from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who was chief of staff to Governor Bobby Jindal during most of Jindal's first term in office. Since 2011, Teepell has operated the firm OnMessage Inc., based in suburban Washington, D.C. Still an advisor to Jindal, Teepell is sometimes called the governor's "alter ego".
Teepell is the second of four sons of Thomas Francis "Tommy" Teepell, Sr. (born 1951), a salesman for Lamar Advertising, and the former Brenda McArthur (also born 1951). After the eighth or tenth grade (sources vary), Teepell was homeschooled in Baton Rouge. His mother became an unofficial lobbyist for the homeschooling movement and spent considerable time at the Louisiana State Capitol promoting her cause. Young Teepell had an interest in basketball and the Louisiana State University great Pete Maravich. Teepell obtained his General Educational Development diploma and did not attend college. Instead he went directly to Washington, D.C., to work for Republican candidates, to promote conservative causes, to engage in fundraising, and to join the staff of the Republican National Committee, all activities which turned into his full-time career as a political consultant.
Teeple is married to the former Sarah Lynn Parker of Virginia. He has twin sons, Thomas and William, and four daughters, all named for U.S. states, Virginia, Georgia, Montana, and Tennessee.
At 18, his first job was in 1993 as an aide to Michael Farris in Purcellville in northern Virginia, a Republican who organized the Home School Legal Defense Association and Patrick Henry College and ran unsuccessfully that same year for lieutenant governor, when such Moderate Republicans as then US Senator John Warner refused to support him for being too conservative. By his early 20s, Teepell had taken charge of the Madison Project, a political action committee founded by Farris that raised funds for Christian conservative candidates nationwide. He also worked in Virginia legislative campaigns.
Regarding his lack of formal education, Teepell said that he fell into political organization mostly by accident:
I learned a lot in the work world that I wouldn’t have learned as a political science major [including the work ethic from his parents] When [one doesn't] have a college education, [he] can't afford to fail at any job. I realized I had to work twice as hard as anyone else to be successful....
Regarding his perseverance in campaigning, Teepell said in second person:
It's not rocket science. To win a campaign you have to get a lot of people engaged in supporting you. Not just voters, but when you have somebody who's willing to go door-to-door in their own neighborhood telling their neighbors, asking people to vote for you. That's powerful.... There are relationships you build in Louisiana where people put aside their partisanship and see people for who they are and build those relationships. That's something that being in D.C. I always missed about Louisiana, and it's one of the reasons I wanted to come back.
In 2003, Teepell began advising Jindal to continue in active politics after the latter's defeat in the governor's race that year by the Democrat Kathleen Babineaux Blanco. He managed Jindal's election in 2004 to Louisiana's 1st congressional district for the seat vacated by David Vitter, who instead became in 2005 his state's first elected Republican senator since Reconstruction. In 2007, Teepell managed Jindal's successful gubernatorial race against the Democrats Foster Campbell and Walter Boasso and several other opponents. He then joined Jindal as chief of staff in the first termat a salary of $165,000 annually.
In 2010, Teepell took a three-month leave of absence to work nationally in gubernatorial campaigns for the Republican Governors Association, of which Jindal became the chairman two years later. Jindal's executive counsel and later Teepell's successor as chief of staff, Stephen Waguespack, subsequently the executive director of the interest group, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, was the acting chief of staff while Teepell was away.
In 2012, Teepell, along with John C. White, Jindal's appointee as Louisiana education superintendent, and Chas Roemer, president of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education became involved in the promotion of Jindal's educational reform package of expanded charter schools, educational vouchers, and enhanced teacher evaluations.
In 2012, Timmy Teepell worked in the campaign of Republican US Representative Bill Cassidy of Louisiana's 6th congressional district.In the spring of 2013, Teepell abruptly departed the Cassidy campaign as Cassidy prepared to challenge Senator Mary Landrieu's bid for a fourth term in 2014.
In 2011, Jindal hired one of Teepell's younger brothers, Taylor Teepell, as the governor's deputy for legislative affairs and thereafter as deputy chief of staff under Stephen Waguespack. Taylor Teepell was the director of the Louisiana Republican Party's Victory Fund in 2011 and is a former advisor to the former chairman of the Republican National Committee Haley Barbour, also a former governor of Mississippi.
Jindal in 2011 named Matt Parker (born 1984), formerly of Virginia, as his intergovernmental affairs director and then in 2012 assigned Parker as the legislative affairs director. Parker is Teepell's brother-in-law, the brother of Teepell's wife. Parker had been Jindal's 2011 campaign manager when the governor, with more than $9 million in campaign funds at his disposal, polled nearly two thirds of the vote in the nonpartisan blanket primary against a large field of unknown candidates. In 2010, Parker had worked on the campaign of Florida Governor Rick Scott of Florida.