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Gov. Kay Ivey announces staff changes

The governor’s chief of staff, Jo Bonner, is set to leave after the end of the year to serve as president of the University of South Alabama. 

Governor Kay Ivey gave the keynote speech at the Rotary Club of Anniston Luncheon Tuesday June, 15, 2021 in Anniston, Ala. (Governor's Office/Hal Yeager)

Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday announced several staff changes following news last week that her Chief of Staff, Jo Bonner, would be leaving after the end of the year to serve as president of the University of South Alabama. 

Liz Filmore, Ivey’s top deputy chief of staff, will become chief of staff upon Bonner’s leave. Ivey’s office in an announcement Wednesday said state Finance Director Bill Poole will gain the added title of senior advisor.

 “Bill Poole brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from his three terms in the Alabama Legislature where he chaired the House Ways and Means Education Committee,” Ivey said in a statement. “Bill’s first priority will continue to be to serve in the role of finance director, which carries a tremendous responsibility on its own. But as we are working to develop our long-range strategic blueprint for Alabama for the next few years, both Liz and I recognize we couldn’t find a better person to lean on for advice and input than Bill Poole.”

 Ivey also moved Nathan Lindsay and Brooks McClendon into the roles of deputy chiefs of staff. Lindsay is director of appointments for Ivey and McClendon is the senate liaison in the Legislative Affairs Office. McClendon will remain in that role in the upcoming legislative session.  

“Nathan has demonstrated an impressive level of intellect and work ethic as he has handled the responsibilities of the Appointments Office,” Ivey said. “Most people don’t realize the governor is responsible for making thousands of appointments to more than 500 boards and commissions throughout the state in addition to filling vacancies for many public officials. Nathan has established a great network of local leaders throughout Alabama that will be critical as he serves as deputy chief of staff.”

 Lindsay began working in the Governor’s Office in 2019 after eight years at the Business Council of Alabama. 

“Brooks has been a great addition to our legislative team and he, too, is a natural for this position,” Ivey said. “Having served as president of the Senate, I know better than most how important it is to have someone in his role who is respected and trusted by both parties; Brooks is that person. I am grateful he will continue to work with the Senate while taking on the additional responsibilities as deputy chief of staff.”

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McClendon joined the Governor’s Office in 2019 after working for Manufacture Alabama for five years and as a staffer for former U.S. Rep. Spencer T. Bachus, III.

 “Our state has weathered one of the most challenging periods in our nation’s history, and we’ve come out of the last year stronger and more united than ever,” Ivey said. “When you consider how we’ve been leading the Southeast – and really the nation – in economic growth and low unemployment during the past two years, I can’t wait to see what is next in store for the good people of this great state. The best is truly in front of us.”

Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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