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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Riley deputy will be top staffer for new speaker

Josh Blades, deputy chief of staff for Gov. Bob Riley, will finish his term with the governor before moving Jan. 18 to work as chief of staff for new House Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn.
Hubbard said Blades has "already been working and helping and preparing and that sort of thing."
"He's going to be great," Hubbard said. "He's a sharp young man."
Jeff Woodard, who was the chief of staff for former Speaker Seth Hammett, will be moving into another role in the House, Hubbard said.
Hubbard said he is expanding the number of employees in the speaker's office from four to six, but will keep the budget essentially the same because those working for him will be paid less.
Other hires by Hubbard include legislative analyst Sommer Vaughn, legislative counsel Jason Isbell, policy analyst Boone Kinard, and executive assistant Erica McLain.
Hubbard said he has yet to hire a communications director.
Vaughn is assistant to Riley’s chief of staff Dave Stewart. Hubbard said she worked for the Republican Party before going to work for Stewart.
Isbell is an attorney and has worked with the Legislative Fiscal Office for eight years so "he brings a great deal of knowledge about the budgets and policy," Hubbard said.
Kinard has worked in constituent services in the governor's office and McLain works in the governor's scheduling office.
The speaker said he hopes to revamp the office where more services and resources are available to House members and there is less dependence on information from lobbyists.

-- posted by Sebastian Kitchen

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South Union Street is the blog of Montgomery Advertiser political reporters Markeshia Ricks and Sebastian Kitchen. Always check here for the latest on the Legislature, elections and other activities and players in Alabama.

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