By Mike Kaszuba

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.