Iowa’s next governor has decided to keep around some of the state administrators who’ve been working for out-going Governor Tom Vilsack.
Governor-elect Chet Culver, a Democrat, has decided to have Patrick Dillon — his campaign manager — serve as his chief of staff. The man who’s served as director of Culver’s transition team will become director of Culver’s Department of Management. “Those two positions are going to be, obviously, very critical in terms of having a successful team and a successful administration,” Culver says.
Culver is keeping at least four of Vilsack department directors. Culver says more announcements will come in the next few days. “We’re making progress,” Culver says. “This is just really the beginning of what will be a series of announcements that will ultimately include nearly 40 different important cabinet positions.”
Culver has yet to reveal his decision on two notable state department heads. Department of Economic Development director Mike Blouin ran against Culver and lost in June’s Democratic primary and Department of Natural Resources director Jeff Vonk has said he wishes to stay on, while groups like the Farm Bureau are lobbying for his exit.
But as Culver announced Wednesday afternoon, Kevin Concannon will stay at the Department of Human Services. Judy Jeffrey will stay on as head of the Department of Education. Walter Reed, Junior, will continue as director of the Iowa Department of Human Rights. Mark Schuling, a lawyer and C-P-A who’s been the Iowa Department of Revenue’s director for the past year, will all stay in that position, too.
Eight years ago when Democrat Tom Vilsack took over from Republican Governor Terry Branstad, Vilsack opted to keep some of Branstad’s top administrators around. For the past two years, one of Branstad’s administrators has been serving as Vilsack’s chief of staff.