Vice President Mike Pence announced Thursday that he will bring on a former aide to serve as his new chief of staff.
The vice president’s current chief of staff, Josh Pitcock, will leave in August and will be replaced by Nick Ayers, a Republican operative from Georgia who served as Pence’s chief political strategist when he was running for vice president.
“Josh Pitcock’s more than twelve years of service have played an invaluable role throughout my public career. His professionalism and integrity are unmatched and he will be missed,” Pence said in statement. “I will always be grateful for the foundation Josh laid in the Office of the Vice President and wish him every success in his future endeavors. Whatever the future holds for Josh and his family, he will remain one of my most trusted advisors and cherished friends.”
Pitcock worked for Pence for 12 years and said in a statement that he believes it is the right time for him to “transition to the private sector. ”
Pence said, “I am pleased to welcome Nick Ayers to the Office of the Vice President. During my years as Governor, then as a candidate and serving as Vice President, I have come to appreciate Nick’s friendship, keen intellect and integrity and I couldn’t be more excited to have him come to the White House as my Chief of Staff.”
Most recently, Ayers was a leader of America First Policies, a pro-Trump political group that ran ads criticizing a Republican senator who didn’t support the Senate Obamacare repeal bill.
The ads against Nevada Sen. Dean Heller ran for 12 hours before being pulled. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly called them “beyond stupid” in a phone call with White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.