James Uthmeier Named DeSantis' new Chief of Staff

Adrian Lukis, DeSantis’ current Chief of Staff will be departing the administration, and the decision was amicably made.

Daniel Molina
Daniel Molina
September 23, 2021

This week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) announced that he had picked Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo as Florida's be Surgeon General. The move generated a lot of discussion because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and how it continues to affect the Sunshine State.

However, the governor is also running for reelection, and his Cabinet is undergoing changes as DeSantis’ current General Counsel, James Uthmeier, is set to become the Governor's Chief of Staff in October. Adrian Lukis, DeSantis’ current Chief of Staff will be departing the administration, as has been expected.

In a statement, Taryn Fenske, the Governors’ communications director, announced that the administration was “proud to welcome James as the next Chief of Staff for Governor DeSantis, where he will continue to serve the people of Florida.”

Fenske added that “James looks forward to supporting the Governor’s mission of ensuring our state continues to be a place where every family has the opportunity to succeed, knowing their constitutional liberties will also be protected.”

Uthmeier has served as DeSantis’ general counsel since October of last year, and he first began working in the governors’ legal office as the Deputy General Counsel in March of 2019.

In turn, Lukis went from Deputy to head Chief of Staff in March, but Lukis has chosen to step down from the administration because of the family concerns

“We greatly appreciate Adrian’s leadership, expertise, and service to Floridians,” said Fenske last month, adding that Lukis “has been in the administration since the start – first as Deputy Chief of Staff and then as the Chief of Staff for Governor DeSantis, and has held the interest of Floridians at the forefront of what he does every day.”

Replacing Uthmeier as general counsel is Ryan Newman, who graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and the University of Texas School of Law.

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Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina is an award-winning senior reporter based in Miami. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Florida International University. His hobbies include reading, writing, and watching films.

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