Florida Gov. DeSantis Announces New Chief of Staff

James Utheimer


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis named a new chief of staff on Thursday. James Utheimer, of Destin, will take over the position after current Chief of Staff Adrian Lukis resigns on October 1.

The DeSantis administration thanked Lukis for his work and leadership.

“We greatly appreciate Adrian’s leadership, expertise, and service to Floridians,” said Taryn Fenske in an email to the Northwest Florida Daily News. “He has been in the administration since the start — first as Deputy Chief of Staff and then as the Chief of Staff for Governor DeSantis, and has held the interests of Floridians at the forefront of what he does every day.”

Utheimer has been working as a part of DeSantis’ general counsel since October 2020.

“We are proud to welcome James as the next Chief of Staff for Governor DeSantis, where he will continue to serve the people of Florida,” Fenske also noted.

Utheimer’s previous work includes serving as a senior adviser and counsel to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and an associate at the law firm Jones Day.

DeSantis has had a number of different chiefs of staff in his tenure as governor, which includes Shane Strum, who is now CEO of Broward Health, Lukis, and now Utheimer.

Utheimer is a Panhandle native and is a graduate of Fort Walton Beach High School, holds two bachelors of arts degrees from the University of Florida, and is a 2014 Georgetown Law graduate.

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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.
Photo “James Utheimer” by James Utheimer.










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