Gov. Tim Walz fills out his staff, includes three Dayton holdovers

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s new staff includes three holdovers from the Mark Dayton administration and others who worked for Walz in Washington and on the campaign trail.

The staffers will hold policy, communications and other senior positions in the governor’s office. Named Walz’s chief of staff was Chris Schmitter, who was deputy chief of staff and legislative director for Walz in the U.S. House. Hue Nguyen, who previously worked as a senior policy advisor for Dayton, will be Walz’s deputy chief of staff for policy and legislative affairs.

Other hires include:

  • Krista Broton, who will be policy director. She recently served as director of Minnesota Senate Minority Research, where she led staff and researched tax policy for the caucus.
  • Kristin Beckmann, who will be deputy chief of staff for communications and scheduling. Beckmann is the former deputy mayor of the City of St. Paul.
  • Kayla Castaneda, who will be communications director. She also served as communications director for the Walz-Flanagan campaign, and was previously the deputy press secretary for U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
  • Teddy Tschann, who will be press secretary. He previously worked as an aide to U.S. Sen. Tina Smith and former U.S. Sen. Al Franken.
  • Karl Procaccini, who will be general counsel and deputy chief of staff. He was a partner at Greene Espel Law Firm in Minneapolis, where he practiced commercial litigation and anti-corruption investigations, compliance and counseling.
  • Patrick Ness, who will be senior advisor to the lieutenant governor. Most recently, he was the public policy director for the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation in St. Paul.
  • Andrew Olson, who will be assistant chief of staff for appointments. He will manage Walz’s judicial appointments. He previously held several roles in Dayton’s office, including assistant chief of staff and director of appointments.
  • Amanda Simpson, who will be chief operations officer. She served as manager of the governor’s residence for Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and as director of operations for Dayton.

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