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Gov. Walz fills out staff, including 3 Dayton holdovers

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz addressed reporters at the Capitol Monday, Jan. 7, 2019. He took the oath of office to become the state's 41st governor earlier in the day. DANA FERGUSON / FORUM NEWS SERVICE

ST. PAUL — 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, 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, deputy chief of staff for communications and scheduling. Beckmann is the former deputy mayor of the city of St. Paul.

  • Kayla Castaneda, 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, press secretary. He previously worked as an aide to U.S. Sen. Tina Smith and former U.S. Sen. Al Franken.

  • Karl Procaccini, 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, senior adviser to the lieutenant governor. Most recently, he was the public policy director for the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation in St. Paul.

  • Andrew Olson, 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, chief operations officer. She served as manager of the governor’s residence for Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and as director of operations for Dayton.