Reid shuffles staff, an 'institution' retires
UPDATE 11/18: Politico reports that Jim Manley, Harry Reid's spokesperson, is also retiring.
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One of the longest-serving staffers in the Senate is retiring, starting a shuffling of the top aides to Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) just two weeks after he narrowly won re-election to a fifth term.
Lula Davis, with 30 years of congressional service under her belt that dates back to the late Sen. Russell Long (D-La.), is retiring from the incredibly powerful, behind-the-scenes position of Secretary for the Majority. One of the most important female figures on Capitol Hill, Davis is being replaced by Reid's chief of staff, Gary Myrick, who like Davis is an expert on parliamentary procedures.
The secretary for the majority serves the entire Democratic caucus as the eyes, ears and brains of the Senate, explaining to senators how the chamber's byzantine rules can be used to help -- or hinder -- progress on the advancement of legislation. Never out in front of the debate, Davis is frequently seen at the side of Reid or whichever Democrat is managing the floor debate, whispering into his or her ear with an idea of how to outmaneuver the Republicans.
Myrick is a natural successor to Davis, having worked the last 20 years for the last three Democratic leaders: Reid, Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) and George Mitchell (D-Maine). Whenever the Senate hits complete gridlock, Myrick has been the primary negotiator over the chamber's next steps forward. He can be seen with his GOP counterpart, David Schiappa, the secretary for the minority, huddled together just off the Senate floor, in the foyer area outside the chamber's backdoor, mapping out what steps will come next.
Myrick's departure from the day-to-day operations of Reid's office creates a vacuum that will be filled by David Krone, currently deputy chief of staff.
"Gary has done an outstanding job leading our team for the last four years and his presence and judgment have set the right tone for our legislative victories," Reid said in a statement. "Gary's mastery of Senate procedure and knowledge of this institution are invaluable to me and our entire Caucus. I am pleased that he will continue to be an invaluable resource to all of us as our next Secretary of the Majority."
"Lula is quite simply a Senate institution, and for 30 years our caucus has been fortunate to have access to her unmatched knowledge of the issues and procedure," Reid said. "Many a junior and senior Senator has turned to Lula on the floor for guidance and with good reason - her advice was always without fault."
Prior to joining Senator Reid's office in 2009, Krone was senior vice president for Comcast. As Deputy Chief of Staff, Krone oversaw the integration of the Majority Leader's policy, message and outreach operations.
| November 17, 2010; 10:01 AM ET
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