HomeTop StoriesLongtime advisor to Ky. Gov. Beshear is leaving this year...

Longtime advisor to Ky. Gov. Beshear is leaving this year for a job in the ‘private sector’

One from Governor Andy BeshearThe administration’s top lieutenants are leaving his post after nearly nine years working with the governor.

Deputy Chief of Staff Jonathan Smith will leave for the private sector in “late summer, early fall,” Beshear announced at a news conference Thursday.

A spokesperson for Beshear did not respond to Herald-Leader questions about where he would work once he leaves his official post.

Alongside Chief of Staff La Tasha Buckner, Smith has long been in the governor’s tight-knit professional circle. Other high-profile administration officials include Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, senior adviser Rocky Adkins and state budget director John Hicks.

Smith has worked for Beshear in one capacity or another dating back to the governor’s campaign for attorney general, which began in 2013. He is seen by many political insiders as a liaison between Beshear and others in the political world.

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Beshear called Smith “an incredible part of Team Kentucky” during his weekly press conference.

“Without him, we could not have accomplished what we accomplished at the AG’s office or here,” Beshear said. “He will be missed, and these will be big shoes to fill.”

The governor also said Smith has three young children and “may want to spend a little more time at home than he can as a governor’s deputy chief of staff.”

In an interview with the Herald-Leader earlier this year, Smith mentioned his involvement in restoring voting rights to about 180,000 Kentuckians with non-violent crimes, as well as the removal of a statue of former Confederate President Jefferson Davis from the Capitol Rotunda. highlights.

Smith’s replacement is an internal hire.

Coulter Minix, who served as director of Beshear’s Washington, D.C., office, will replace Smith as deputy chief of staff. Minix has been in his current position for more than four years and transitioned from attorney at the Children’s Law Center in March 2020, according to his professional resume on LinkedIn.

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Last week, the Herald-Leader filed an open records request seeking reports on Smith’s future.

Minutes after issuing a news release reiterating Beshear’s comments on Thursday, the governor’s office sent a response to the Herald-Leader’s request. It only contained the press release.

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