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Friday, 03 February 2017 09:48

Former Jindal staffer Cooper to be Edwards's Chief of Staff, replacing Nevers

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cooperOn Thursday evening, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that his Chief of Staff, former State Senator Ben Nevers, would step down as Chief of Staff for the Office of the Governor.  Sen. Nevers’ resignation will be effective Feb. 28. Former Director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), Mark Cooper, will assume the role of Chief of Staff.  

In a press release, Edwards said:

“Ben Nevers has been one of my closest friends in the legislature and a fierce advocate for the people of Louisiana for more than 30 years,” said Gov. Edwards. “Following my election as governor, I asked Ben to join this administration when he intended to retire to spend more time with this family.  He accepted without hesitation and has done a tremendous job leading this team in our first year. Over the last year and during my time in the legislature, I turned to Ben for guidance, support and prayers, and he has delivered on each.  I know I speak for a lot of folks at the state capitol when I say that we will miss seeing Ben around here every day, but we know he won’t be going far.  Donna and I want to wish him and his wife, Ann, a happy, relaxing and well-deserved retirement and thank him for his many years of service to our state.”

“It has been an incredible honor to serve the people of Louisiana, from my position on the school board, to the legislature and now for Gov. Edwards,” said Sen. Nevers.  “There are some very real challenges facing the state of Louisiana, but I know this governor has the best interest of the people of our state at heart.  After all these years, I’m looking forward to spending more time with my wife, our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  I’ve been so blessed to serve the people of this state for so many years, and I’m looking forward to seeing great things from this governor and his team in the future.”

Mark Cooper, originally from Bossier City, will assume the role of Chief of Staff for the Office of the Governor in the Spring.  Currently employed as Senior Director of Global Emergency Management at Walmart in Bentonville, Ark., Mark served as the director of the GOHSEP for the State of Louisiana from 2008-2011 during the Bobby Jindal administration.

In the interim, Matthew Block, Executive Counsel to Gov. Edwards, will serve as acting Chief of Staff.