Clovis at GOP Victory Party

Siouxlander Sam Clovis on Thursday withdrew his nomination to a key post in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Jim Lee, Sioux City Journal file

HINTON, Iowa | Sam Clovis, a former Sioux City college professor and radio talk show host who signed onto Donald Trump's presidential campaign in 2015, has accepted a key White House job with the new Trump administration.

In a text to the Journal Friday, Clovis said he was "humbled" to be appointed senior White House advisor to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Clovis said he was one of 30 individuals sworn in at the USDA on Friday, after Trump's inauguration.

Clovis said he was "humbled and proud to be part of history," but did not elaborate on his new job.

A tenured economics professor at Morningside College, Clovis had been on unpaid leave from the private Sioux City school since August 2015, when he joined the Trump campaign as national co-chairman and chief policy adviser.

Clovis, who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in the Republican primary in June 2014 and then as the GOP nominee for state treasurer that fall, originally signed on as an advisor to former Texas Gov. Rick Perry's campaign when the 2016 presidential campaign kicked off. After a summer in which the tough-talking Trump surged to the top of polls and Perry faded, Clovis switched to the Trump team.

Clovis often served as a surrogate for Trump during the campaign. His duties included speaking to farm groups, and represented the campaign in ag forums.

Trump this week nominated former Gov. Sonny Perdue as agriculture secretary. Perdue will succeed former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack.

Clovis, of rural Hinton, Iowa, is also a former talk show host on Sioux City AM radio station KSCJ.

Journal reporter Bret Hayworth contributed to this story.

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