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Pence Makes Major Staff Shakeup, Replaces Chief Of Staff ⋆ Epeak . Independent news and blogs

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After rumors of a vast White House shakeup that have been kicking around Washington for weeks, there will be a new chief of staff coming on board — but not the one serving the president.

Vice President Mike Pence is replacing Josh Pitcock, who served as his chief of staff for the first few months of the Trump administration, with Nick Ayers. The change was first reported in late June.

Ayers helped Pence during Pence’s last campaign to win re-election as the governor of Indiana and also worked with the vice president on the Trump transition team.

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Pence said he has “come to appreciate Nick’s friendship, keen intellect and integrity.”

“I couldn’t be more excited to have him come to the White House,” Pence said in a statement.

“I have such deep respect and admiration for the Pences and believe so deeply in the policies the vice president and the president are fighting for. Leaving Georgia – albeit temporarily – was only possible because of how important my wife and I believe this mission is. I am honored with the trust the vice president has in me and excited to serve in this capacity,” said Ayers, who was reportedly weighing the possibility of running for governor in Georgia.

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Pitcock, who was Pence’s chief of staff when Pence served in Congress, said he will move to the private sector.

“Deciding to leave was not easy, but I believe the time is right for me to transition to the private sector,” Pitcock said in a statement. “Nick and I have worked seamlessly together for years and will continue to do so through the transition and thereafter.”

The New York Times reported that Pitcock’s departure had been expected and that he did not plan on serving as Pence’s chief of staff for longer than the first few months of the administration. The Times said Pitcock would step down in August.

Paul Bennecke, the executive director of the Republicans Governors Association, said Ayers will be a big plus to the administration. Ayers served as executive director of the RGA from 2007 through 2011.

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“I think it’s a great asset to the president and the vice president to have someone who can figure out what the big objectives are, but more importantly, figure out what they can control and achieve, so that those objectives become reality,” he said.

Praise for Ayers even came from the other side of the political aisle.

“In Nick, Mike Pence will get a very savvy and aggressive political mind,” said Nathan Daschle, a lobbyist who was the executive director of the Democratic Governors Association when Ayers led the RGA. “He’ll also get intense loyalty.  He won’t have to worry about Nick and that he’s got 100 percent loyalty out of his top person.”

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