Culver chief of staff leaves

frew150Governor Chet Culver’s chief of staff is leaving, taking a job working with Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett

UPDATE:  Frew talks about his exit. Corbett, as you may know, is a former state legislator who served as House Speaker in the late 1990s.  Corbett is also a Republican, although during a recent appearance on Iowa Public Television Corbett said he is “a nonpartisan guy trying to take care of our town.”

Culver’s chief of staff, John Frew, is a Democrat who worked for Senator Tom Harkin and for Culver’s father, John Culver.  Frew has a bit of a mayoral background: he campaigned to be mayor of Denver but lost that 1995 race. Frew was legal counsel to the group that developed the baseball stadium in Denver and according to a news release issued by Culver’s office last fall, Frew was “creator of the Grand Prix of Denver, and developer of minor league sports facilities in both Colorado and Texas.”  Frew moved back to Iowa this fall from Colorado.  He is a native of Des Moines, a graduate of Dowling High School, the University of Iowa and Creighton University’s law school.

Here’s today’s announcement from the governor’s office:

DES MOINES — Governor Culver today accepted John Frew’s resignation as Chief of Staff to the Governor and Lt. Governor.  Frew is leaving state government service to resume his long career in the private sector.  Frew is expected to announce this afternoon that he will be working on a number of projects in the Cedar Rapids area.

In his resignation letter, Frew wrote, “[t]his has been a difficult choice, but my decision to leave is in the best interest of my family and the timing is appropriate.”  “With the 2010 legislative session behind us, the time has arrived for me to decide whether to extend my time commitment to serving as your chief of staff.  We are within the 30 day window following the end of the session and the beginning of your re-election campaign; it is a time when the IGOV staff and Department Directors owe you the courtesy of deciding their status so that you avoid major personnel decisions during the summer and fall,”  Frew wrote.

Frew’s letter highlighted several of the accomplishments of the Culver/Judge administration including “[i]mplementing an aggressive and comprehensive plan to address the unprecedented and sudden decrease in state revenues . . . .”  “I have been honored to walk into the capitol building to engage in daily debate with extraordinarily smart people who have a passion and commitment to public service.  My stay, as you know, has been temporary by design and the time has come for me to return to the private sector,” Frew wrote.

Frew’s resignation letter closed by wishing the Governor and Lt. Governor “every possible success in the months and years ahead.”

Governor Culver and Lt. Governor Judge also expressed their appreciation for Frew’s service as their chief of staff.  “I want to thank John for his work and counsel as our chief of staff.  I wish John, his wife Marcia and their girls the best as he resumes his long and distinguished career in the private sector,” said Culver.

“I have enjoyed working with John as we advanced our agenda to help Iowa’s children, working families and seniors,” said Judge.

The Governor has named Jim Larew, who currently serves as General Counsel, to serve as Chief of Staff.  Larew has been a long-time member of the Culver/Judge Administration, and previously served as Acting Chief of Staff.  His appointment begins immediately.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.