A re-election is a natural time for staff changes in any administration. But it was a wistful Governor Shumlin who announced that some of his closest aides will be leaving.
"Some of them are decisions that folks on my staff have made without me, and some have been made with me. And therefore some of them are bittersweet," he said.
Alex MacLean, Shumlin’s campaign manager and secretary of civil and military affairs, will leave state government next year for a yet unnamed job in the private sector. The governor credited MacLean with his victory in the Democratic primary in 2010 and his close election win that year.
"Alex and I go way back and I wouldn’t be here without Alex," he said. "There is no one in state government that I rely on more than Alex MacLean."
Also leaving is chief of staff Bill Lofy. He’s taking a job with the Democratic Governors Association, which Shumlin is expected to chair next year.
Taking Lofy’s place is Elizabeth Miller, who now heads the Public Service Department, the state agency responsible for energy planning and consumer advocacy.
Miller will be replaced by Chris Recchia, now deputy secretary of natural resources. Miller says consumers will be well served with Recchia at the helm.
"He knows many of my staff already, and I have absolute confidence that he’s going to walk into that job and do an extraordinary job at the department on the many tough and interesting issues that the department has," Miller said.
Shumlin also announced the retirement of Steve Kimbell, now the commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation. Kimbell had been a high-powered lobbyist whom Shumlin convinced to join his team in 2010 to help lead efforts on health care reform. Kimbell’s deputy, Susan Donogan, will assume the post of commissioner.
Mental Health Commission Patrick Flood is also stepping down from his post, although he plans to stay in state government. Flood will be replaced temporarily by deputy commissioner Mary Moulton while the administration undertakes a national search for a new commissioner.
Shumlin said these are the bulk of the staff changes although there may be more announcements in the weeks ahead.