I’ve yet to receive confirmation from Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s lead spokesman, but word is circulating at the Capitol that Michael Lamoureux will be departing as the governor’s chief of staff by the end of May. Staff got that word today.
Further speculation is that he’ll be succeeded by Betty Guhman, who’s had an influential role all along, particularly in the white-hot context of Human Services.
Why is Lamoureux, a former legislative leader, departing? Don’t have a clue. Perhaps for the same reason Sen. Jon Woods cited when he abruptly announced he wasn’t going to seek re-election this year — more time with family.
Lamoureux’s stature wasn’t helped by reporting by AP’s Claudia Lauer on the consulting fees he received from a conservative lobby group while he was in the legislature.
The change could, I’m advised, be accompanied by many other changes in gubernatorial staffing.
A statement is expected before long from the governor and Lamoureux. Maybe that phone company he did some legislative lifting for while also being paid by them has some employment opportunities.
J.R. Davis said Lamoureux would be working through the end of the month and return to work in Russellville, where his family lives. “It was a good opportunity for him.”
UPDATE: The prepared statements, which contained no information about Lamoureux’s future plans or his replacement:
Governor Asa Hutchinson issues a statement on the departure of Michael Lamoureux, Chief of Staff, who will continue his responsibilities until the end of May 2016.
Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:
“Michael has been an essential part of my team from the beginning, and I will greatly miss his counsel and strategic thinking. There are very few people who offer the same depth of state government experience as Michael, and his service as my Chief of Staff has proven key in accomplishing my legislative agenda. I wish him all the best in his future opportunities.”
Michael Lamoureux issued the following statement:
“I’ve been with Governor Hutchinson since the day after the election, and I am grateful for this experience. Serving under the governor has been a public honor and a privilege. Although I am leaving for another professional opportunity, I look forward to the continued success of his administration in the years to come.”