Billy Piper to leave as Sen. McConnell's chief of staff in D.C.

12/01/2010 04:33 PM

After heading up U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s Washington, D.C., office for eight years, chief of staff Billy Piper will leave the post at the end of the year, McConnell announced in a statement.

Piper “will leave the Hill to pursue opportunities outside of government service,” according to McConnell’s statement.

McConnell called Piper “a trusted advisor, a valued counselor and a close friend.”

“His keen political skills have been indispensable to me, and I will deeply miss his service,” McConnell’s statement said. McConnell has not named a successor yet.

Piper, a Louisville native who first joined McConnell’s staff in 1991, served as one of McConnell’s main political antennas for Kentucky. He even took time off from his duties in Washington to run the congressional campaign of Republican state Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr from December 2003 to February 2004. Kerr lost that special election to Democrat Ben Chandler.

Piper also is the third high-profile departure from McConnell’s staff in the last year.

In September, McConnell’s longtime Kentucky director, Larry Cox, retired. Cox was replaced by Terry Carmack, former chief of staff to Republican U.S. Rep. Anne Northup and political director for the Republican National Congressional Committee.

In February, Kyle Simmons departed from his post as chief of staff of McConnell’s Republican leader office. Simmons had been one of the most influential Capitol Hill staff members and his departure prompted tears from McConnell in a Senate floor speech.

- Ryan Alessi

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