Former COC student, college trustee to lead Selective Service System

Don Benton. Facebook photo

Editor’s note: Story updated to reflect Don Benton’s time on the COC Board of Trustees and his work with the board during his tenure.

Don Benton, a former Washington state lawmaker and College of the Canyons (COC) student, will be nominated to serve as President Donald Trump’s director of the United States Selective Service System, according to a press release from the White House.

If confirmed, Benton will oversee 124 full-time employees at the Selective Service System and work to register nearly all men ages 18 to 25 for the military draft.

As a student at COC, Benton served as men’s student body president, senator of athletic affairs and student trustee on the Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees, which oversees COC.  During that time he also earned his associate degree from the college.

After his graduation in June 1981, Benton ran for a position on the board and was elected following a November 1981 election.

“During my first term I helped choose our new District Superintendent Ray LaGranduer,” Benton said.  “In 1985 I was re-elected to a second 4 year term during which time I served as President of the Board of Trustees.”

In total, Benton served for two terms on the Board of Trustees.

At 17, Benton also started his first company, Santa Clarita Temporaries Incorporated, and remained co-founder and president from 1979 to 1983.  He also worked as a district manager and agent for Farmers Insurance Group from 1981 to 1998 and acted as founder and CEO of The Benton Group.

Benton served as a Republican member of the Washington House of Representatives for two years, from 1995 to 1997, before serving as a member of the Washington State Senate for two decades, from 1997 to 2017.

During the Trump transition period, Benton served as the White House Senior Advisor to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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