JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Gov. Bob Holden named Michael Hartmann as his new chief of staff on Monday, replacing Julie Gibson, who is stepping down effective Nov. 1.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge," Hartmann said Monday.
Hartmann will take office at an undetermined time later this fall. Carol Gilstrap, the governor's deputy chief of staff for operations, will serve as interim chief of staff until a replacement is chosen for Hartmann in the Office of Administration.
"I've known Mike for many years, and I'm very pleased that he will be leading my staff," Holden said in a statement. "He will be at the forefront in leading my legislative agenda during the 2002 session."
The major priorities for January's legislative session will be safety, security, the budget, and education, Hartmann said.
Hartmann served as chief of staff for the previous two governors, Roger Wilson and Mel Carnahan. When Holden took office, he named Hartmann commissioner of the Office of Administration.
Holden's relationship with the legislature has been tenuous since he took office in January, and some lawmakers see the new chief of staff as a change for the better.
Senate President Pro Tem Peter Kinder, R-Cape Girardeau, said he has always been able to get along with Hartmann.
But, he said, "I'm less concerned with who the chief of staff is than what the policy is."
Rep. Tim Harlan, D-Columbia, said, "I have worked closely with Mike in the past and I think the years he spent in the governor's office before will be helpful to him in working with the legislature."
Gibson announced last month that she was resigning her position in the governor's office to work in a consulting position with the Missouri Democratic Party.