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In Oregon, Governor Kate Brown appointed Janine Benner to serve as the Director of the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE). “Janine is an innovative leader with a wealth of experience in management, energy policy, and climate change,” Governor Brown said. “Her background and expertise will well serve the agency and further our ongoing efforts to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions in Oregon while keeping energy reliable and affordable.” Benner joined ODOE last year as the Assistant Director for Planning and Innovation, and before that was an Obama Administration appointee in the United States Department of Energy and an aide to Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer. Janine Benner’s appointment must be confirmed by the Oregon Senate.


On Tuesday, Governor John Hickenlooper announced that Kim Bimestefer will be the next Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. Prior to the appointment, Bimestefer ran her own consulting company, President and General Manager of Cigna Mountain States, and Chair of Cigna Healthcare of Colorado. “Kim is an experienced health care leader and innovator,” said Governor Hickenlooper. “We are fortunate to have someone with Kim’s tenure of leading health care organizations join our team.” Bimestefer begins serving as the department head on January 8th, replacing current interim Executive Director Thomas Massey.


Following the appointment of his former General Counsel to the Texas Supreme Court, Governor Greg Abbott named Andrew Oldham—currently the Deputy General Counsel—to the top legal post in the Governor’s Office. “Andy is a brilliant mind with a strong legal background, having served as Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice and as a law clerk to Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. on the United States Supreme Court,” said Governor Abbott. “Not only does his background reflect his robust understanding of the Constitution and the rule of law, but Andy has proven himself as a dedicated public servant and a trusted legal advisor in the General Counsel’s office. I want to thank Andy for his commitment to the State of Texas, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with him in his new role.” Before working in the Governor’s Office, Oldham also served in the Attorney General’s Office as Deputy Solicitor General. He holds a Bachelor’s from the University of Virginia, a Master’s in Philosophy from Cambridge University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.


Cities and Towns:

New York, NY – The New York City Council was sworn into office on January 3, 2018, and selected Cory D. Johnson as the new Speaker.  Johnson has represented New York’s District 3 since January 2014.  He replaces Melissa Mark-Viverito, who could not run again due to term limits.


St. Louis, MO – Mayor Lyda Krewson appointed John Hayden as the new Police Commissioner.  Commissioner Hayden most recently served as Commander of the North Patrol Division and has been with the department for 30 years.  He replaces Lawrence O’Toole who had been serving as Interim Commissioner.  In a press release, Mayor Krewson said, “John Hayden has served St. Louis with honor and distinction for 30 years.  He has a great track record building trust in the communities in which he’s served. At this very critical time in our City, John will continue that exemplary service as our police chief.”


Counties and Authorities:

The following counties held reorganization meetings and chose new leadership for their county board:

Arlington County, VA– Katie Cristol, Chair of the County Board

Delaware County, PA– John McBlain, Chair of the County Board

Washington County, MN– Karla Bigham, Chair of the Board of Commissioners


Lucas County, OHMark Anderson was appointed Acting Treasurer of Lucas County, filling a vacancy left when former Treasurer Wade Kapszukiewicz was sworn in as Mayor of Toledo. Anderson, who previously served as Chief Deputy Treasurer, will serve in the position until the Democratic Party of Lucas County can appoint a permanent replacement at their meeting on January 9, 2018.

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