WASHINGTON – Following a staff shuffle, Vice President Mike Pence’s new chief of staff will be Nick Ayers, who ran Gov. Bruce Rauner’s 2014 Illinois gubernatorial campaign, the White House announced on Thursday.
Ayers will take over from current Pence chief of staff Josh Pitcock on Aug. 1, using July to transition into his new job.
It’s logical to figure that Pence, the former Indiana governor, will offer his assistance to Rauner’s 2018 re-election bid. Parts of central and southern Illinois mirror the conservative Hooiser political landscape, turf Ayers knows well.
Ayers has been in the Pence orbit for some time, serving as the campaign chairman and chief strategist for the Pence Vice Presidential while also consulting on Pence’s campaigns for Indiana governor.
Pence said in a statement, “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. I am sincerely grateful to him, and his wife Jamie, for their willingness to serve our office and this administration.”
Ayers said in his statement, “I have such deep respect and admiration for the Pence’s 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.”