The "most hated campaign operative in America" is now Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff.
Pence has chosen his chief political strategist, Nick Ayers, to replace long-time aide Josh Pitcock, who had served on Pence's team since his tenure in Congress.
"Josh Pitcock's more than twelve years of service have played an invaluable role throughout my public career" Pence said in a White House press release yesterday. "His professionalism and integrity are unmatched and he will be missed."
Unlike Pitcock, Ayers is not an Indiana native. He comes from Georgia, where he became Gov. Sonny Perdue's campaign manager in 2006 at the age of 24. By 2010, he was helping the Republican Governor's Association pick up seats in the midterm elections. During the 2012 election, he was managing a $90 million account for RGA.
After heading up the America First Policies organization, the Trump loyalist advised the vice president during the 2016 and worked as one of the president's top advisors during the transition this past winter. He has been serving as a political strategist on the vice president's team ever since.
Though his political career has been full of successes, Ayers has made his fair share of enemies. In 2011, he sent out an email announcing that he would be joining Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's bid for president as campaign manager. Politico accused Ayers at the time of being brashly confident, claiming, "Ayers, in his own email, writes a bit as though he's the one who will be running for president."
The New York Times, which broke the story about Pence's staff switch up, posits that this kind of confidence is exactly what the vice president needs, noting, "Mr. Ayers is also known as an aggressive fighter on behalf of his bosses, a quality that could serve the vice president well over the coming months."
The Times also said that Pitcock's departure was pre-planned. The current chief of staff had only stayed on to help the transition and had not planned to stay past this summer.
Ayers will officially begin his new job in August.
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