Montana News

Feb 20, 2010 3:41 PM

Baucus State Director steps down

BILLINGS - Barrett Kaiser, State Director for U.S. Senator Max Baucus, has resigned to take a new job with a national public relations and political affairs office.

Kaiser has worked for Baucus for nearly 11 years. Baucus announced that John Lewis will replace Kaiser as his top Montana aide. Kaiser has signed on with Hilltop Public Solutions, one of America's top political consulting firms.

Lewis, 31, is tasked with, among other things, running the senator's eight Montana offices, traveling with Baucus while he's in the state, and managing a staff of nearly 20.

"I extend my heartfelt thanks to Barrett for his many years of excellent service to our state. He's an amazingly talented guy and I will miss his quick intellect and great sense of humor," Baucus said. "I welcome John into his new role and have no doubt he will be a great leader of my Montana staff."

"We are thrilled to bring Barrett onto the team," said Hilltop Managing Partner and Founder Nick Baldick. "Barrett's seasoned political mind and knowledge of western issues will be a major asset to our clients. He knows how to get it done in the ruggedly independent West."

"I couldn't be more excited to hitch up to the Hilltop team," Kaiser said. "It's been an honor to help Senator Baucus serve Montanans. Max is a dear friend and mentor to me, and I of course am sad to leave his team. At the same time, I'm looking forward to opening a new chapter and applying my skills to help Hilltop grow its top-flight practice in the western states."

A Denver native, Kaiser started with Baucus in the six-term senator's Washington, D.C., office in 1999, after graduating with a degree in Communication Studies from The University of Montana. Kaiser returned to Montana in 2001 as Press Secretary of Baucus' successful 2002 reelection campaign.

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