Chris DeLaForest, who spent the past year as Gov. Tim Pawlenty's director of legislative and cabinet affairs, is leaving the governor's office.
Pawlenty announced Thursday that DeLaForest, 41, a former Republican legislator, would be leaving his job on Nov. 5. "The state has faced many difficult issues during his tenure and I could always count on him to work with the legislature to get the job done," the governor said in a written statement.
Pawlenty announced that Brian LeClair, a senior policy advisor for the past year, would replace DeLaForest.
"This has been an incredibly rewarding experience," said DeLaForest in a written statement, "but now is the right time to reconnect with my family and focus on the next chapter in my professional life."
DeLaForest had operated a governmental affairs consulting company before joining Pawlenty.
Gov. Mark Dayton, speaking to a mostly Republican audience at the annual Minnesota Business Partnership dinner, repeated his familiar attack on the House GOP, blaming them for a legislative impasse on transportation.
The 20-year-old man suspected of killing five people with a rifle at a Macy's makeup counter had a string of run-ins with the law in recent years, including charges he assaulted his stepfather, and was described by a neighbor as so "creepy, rude and obnoxious" that she kept a Taser by her front door.