Jonathan Smith, Beshear's Deputy Chief of Staff, to Depart for Private Sector

Jonathan Smith, Deputy Chief of Staff to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, is leaving his post after nearly 9 years to join the private sector. He will be replaced by Coulter Minix, who has served as director of Beshear's Washington D.C. office.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Jonathan Smith, Beshear's Deputy Chief of Staff, to Depart for Private Sector

Jonathan Smith, Beshear's Deputy Chief of Staff, to Depart for Private Sector

Jonathan Smith, Deputy Chief of Staff to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, is leaving his post after nearly 9 years of service to join the private sector in late Summer or early Fall. Smith has worked with Beshear since his 2013 campaign for attorney general and has been a key liaison between the governor and the political world.

Why this matters: The departure of a high-ranking official like Smith can have significant implications for the governor's office and the state's political landscape, potentially affecting the implementation of key policies and initiatives. Additionally, Smith's replacement byCoulter Minix may signal a shift in the governor's strategy and approach to governance.

Governor Beshear announced Smith's departure at a Thursday press conference, praising him as "an incredible part of Team Kentucky" and stating that "we could not have accomplished what we've accomplished at the AG's office or here without him." Beshear acknowledged that Smith will be missed and "his are going to be big shoes to fill."

During his tenure, Smith has been involved in several notable initiatives, including restoring voting rights to roughly 180,000 Kentuckians with non-violent felony offenses and the removal of a statue of former Confederate President Jefferson Davis from the Capitol Rotunda. Beshear noted that Smith has three young children and may want to spend more time at home.

Smith's replacement will be Coulter Minix, who has served as director of Beshear's office in Washington D.C. for over 4 years. Minix transitioned to that role in March 2020 after previously working as an attorney at the Children's Law Center.

Jonathan Smith's departure marks the end of a nearly decade-long partnership with Governor Andy Beshear that began with Beshear's attorney general campaign in 2013. As a key member of Beshear's team, Smith played an instrumental role in major policy initiatives and navigating the political landscape in Kentucky.