Varilek appointed to Small Business Administration post

Matt Varilek, the Tim Johnson aide who ran for Congress in 2012, has been appointed to a post with the federal Small Business Administration.

Varilek will be the regional administration for SBA’s Region 8 — a six-state region including South Dakota. It’s one of 10 regions for the federal agency.

As a Johnson aide, Varilek focused on economic development.

He resigned from Johnson’s staff in late 2011 to challenge Rep. Kristi Noem for Congress, and handily won the Democratic primary against Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth. But Noem beat him handily, 57.5 percent to 42.5 percent.

Johnson announced Varilek’s appointment in a news release and praised his “private sector experience and strong roots in the region.”