Saturday March 2nd, 2024 4:57AM

Georgia governor names first woman as chief of staff as current officeholder exits for Georgia Power

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Tuesday named the first woman chief of staff as the current officeholder prepares to leave to work for Georgia Power Co.

Kemp said Lauren Curry will take over the post on Jan. 15, when Trey Kilpatrick departs.

The Republican governor said Curry, currently deputy chief of staff, will be the first woman to fill that role for a Georgia governor. Georgia Power, the largest unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co., is hiring Kilpatrick as senior vice president of external affairs.

Curry was earlier chief operating officer and director of government affairs and policy for Kemp. She's had a long career in Georgia state government, previously working for the Environmental Protection Division, the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Economic Development, and as a press assistant to then-Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Brad Bohannon, now Kemp's director of government affairs and policy, will become deputy chief of staff.

Kilpatrick will oversee economic recruitment, lobbying and public relations work for Georgia Power.

Kilpatrick has been Kemp's chief of staff for three years. He previously worked for Republican U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson for 10 years in roles including chief of staff. Kemp's hiring of Kilpatrick was seen as an effort to build bridges to the state's business community after Kemp won office as an insurgent Republican in 2018.

The utility said Kilpatrick was suited to the role because of his involvement in economic development activities.

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