These past few weeks there’ve been rumors of a major White House shakeup, and finally it’s been revealed that there will be a new chief of staff coming on board – but not the one serving President Trump.
Vice President Mike Pence decided to replace Josh Pitcock, who served as his chief of staff for the first few months of the new administration, with Nick Ayers. There was a mention of such a change initially earlier in June.
Nick Ayers aided Vice President Pence during his last campaign to win re-election as the governor of Indiana and he also cooperated with him on the Trump transition team.
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.
Pitcock, Vice President Pence’s former chief of staff, stated that he will be moving 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.”
According to The New York Times, Pitcock’s departure wasn’t a surprise at all, since he’s wasn’t planning on serving as Pence’s chief of staff for no longer than the first few months of the new administration. The NY Times reported that Pitcock is believed to step down from his position in August.
Executive director of the Republicans Governors Association, Paul Bennecke, stated that Ayers was a “big plus to the administration.” Ayers served as executive director of the RGA from 2007 to 2011.
“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.
What’s interesting is that Ayers even received praises 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.”