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Local & Regional News

Incoming Governor Hutchinson Hires Senate President As Staff Chief

Asa Hutchinson
Michael Hibblen
/
KUAR News

Arkansas Gov.-elect Asa Hutchinson is hiring the outgoing state Senate president as his new chief of staff.

Hutchinson on Wednesday announced that he was hiring Sen. Michael Lamoureux of Russellville and that the Russellville lawmaker would also serve as transition director. Hutchinson, a Republican, defeated Democratic nominee Mike Ross in Tuesday's governor's race.

Lamoureux has served as state Senate president since 2013 and was first elected to the chamber in a special election in 2009. Lamoureux was re-elected to a four year term in 2012.

Lamoureux had been a vocal supporter of the state's compromise Medicaid expansion. Hutchinson has stopped short of saying whether he'll support reauthorizing the program next year.

In a written statement, Hutchinson said:

Michael is a trusted friend and is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable leaders on the operation of state government. I am grateful for his willingness to be part of my future administration. This is why I am pleased to announce he will serve as my chief-of-staff in the governor’s office and director of my transition team. Not only does Michael bring an ample amount of institutional knowledge of the state’s legislature, having served in both chambers in leadership positions, but he is well respected by his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. My six-point plan to grow our economy and create jobs in our state starts by lowering taxes for Arkansas’ middle class, and I believe Michael has the qualities and experience to help accomplish my goals as Governor.

Hutchinson will succeed Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, who is barred by term limits from seeking re-election.