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Former Smith Staffer to Head Senate Office

Former Smith chief of staff John Easton to fill same role with N.H. Sen.-elect Kelly Ayotte

Portland, Ore. native John Easton, one-time chief of staff for former Sen. Gordon Smith, will fill the same role for New Hampshire Sen.-elect Kelly Ayotte.

That’s according to the Boston Globe and the Associated Press, which report that Easton comes to Ayotte’s staff from the public affairs firm VH Strategies. Easton managed Smith’s successful 2002 reelection campaign and was Smith’s chief of staff for seven years. The former senator from Oregon is now president and CEO of NAB.

Prior to his work for Smith, Easton was political director for the American Medical Association and occupied a senior staff position for Iowa Republican Rep. Greg Ganske, according to the New Hampshire Journal.

Ayotte is a Republican and the former New Hampshire attorney general; She defeated Democratic Rep. Paul Hodes in November. Ayotte will replace Republican Sen. Judd Gregg, who did not seek re-election.