Branstad's chief of staff Jeff Boeyink to step down

Governor Terry Branstad will be shopping for a new chief of staff for the first time since the 1990s. Jeff Boeyink announced today that he is stepping down for an unspecified private sector job, effective September 6. After many years with the conservative advocacy group Iowans for Tax Relief, Boeyink briefly served as executive director of the Republican Party of Iowa before leaving to manage Branstad’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign. After the 2010 election, Boeyink co-chaired the governor’s transition team, and he has served as chief of staff ever since.

I’ve posted the press release from the governor’s office after the jump. Note the careful mention of Branstad’s “potential” re-election bid, and the conspicuous effort to mention Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds’ name and title as often as possible. The governor’s re-election campaign has engaged in similar branding of the Branstad-Reynolds “team,” fueling rumors in some circles that Reynolds will become the last-minute gubernatorial candidate next spring.

The Des Moines Register’s Jennifer Jacobs listed some possible successors to Boeyink. The governor’s legal counsel Brenna Findley used to serve as Representative Steve King’s chief of staff before she ran for Iowa attorney general in 2010. David Roederer has long been in Branstad’s inner circle and now heads the Iowa Department of Management. Former Iowa GOP staffer Chad Olsen is currently chief of staff for Secretary of State Matt Schultz. Michael Bousselot has been advising Branstad on health care and other issues. Sara Craig was state director of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in Iowa before the 2012 caucuses. Matt Hinch has held many political jobs and is now senior vice president of government relations and public policy for the Greater Des Moines Partnership. I can’t imagine that Doug Gross would want to go back to the job he held nearly 30 years ago. Former Iowa GOP Chair Matt Strawn is busy with his new consulting and lobbying firm.

Press release from Governor Branstad’s office, August 30:

Jeff Boeyink stepping down as Governor Branstad’s Chief of Staff

Boeyink says working for Terry Branstad:  “The honor of my life”

(DES MOINES) – Jeff Boeyink, Chief of Staff for Gov. Terry Branstad, today announced he is stepping down from his position. Boeyink, who served as the governor’s campaign manager in 2009/10, as co-chair of the transition team following the successful November 2010 election, and as Gov. Branstad’s chief of staff since the January 2011 inaugural, will leave the position on Friday, September 6.

“Working for Terry Branstad has been the honor of my life and the decision to leave this office is the most difficult I have ever made,” said Boeyink. “I am exceptionally proud of the team we have assembled to serve the governor and lt. governor and believe the unprecedented results we secured in the last three years, and in particular in the most recent legislative session, are a testament to our collective vision and hard work.”

“I am looking forward to taking my first vacation since 2008 before I begin a new career in the private sector,” Boeyink continued. “In addition, I will now have the opportunity to provide more time and effort in helping build the governor’s campaign effort as we look forward to a potential reelection run in 2014. My commitment to Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds is as strong as ever and I want to help ensure they are leading our state for many years to come.”

“Jeff Boeyink has been a valued part of our team since joining me on the campaign in 2009 and his leadership in this office and the entire executive branch will be greatly missed,” said Branstad. “His ability to identify talent, and to train and mentor those with whom he works, has been instrumental in helping us achieve the biggest property tax cut in state history, landmark education reform, and a new modern outcomes-based health care system that will be a model for the nation.”

“Jeff was a strong and steady force who gave tireless energy to support the efforts of Governor Branstad and me as we work to make good on our goals to create jobs, increase family incomes, reduce the size and cost of government, and restore Iowa’s place as an educational leader,” said Reynolds. “He embedded those goals through every layer of the executive branch in his daily work and that commitment has made a difference.”

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